An Anti-Hero's Loss of Innocence: Rule of the Bone

Updated on July 12, 2018
JenniferWilber profile image

Jennifer Wilber works as an ESL instructor, substitute teacher, and freelance writer. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing and English.

FreeImages.com / Steve White
FreeImages.com / Steve White

Rule of the Bone

Bone, the central character of Rule of the Bone is an anti-hero. He lacks the qualities that are generally thought to make a character a “hero.” He is self-destructive and doesn’t respect anyone in his life. His tragic past leads to some major character flaws, but he is ultimately fighting for what he believes is right, even if sometimes the person he is fighting against is himself. Through several losses of innocence, Bone finds himself and becomes a better person despite his difficult start in life.

Bone’s Backstory: Rebel with a Cause

Rule of the Bone begins with Bone, who is still known as Chappie, stealing from his mother and step-father in order to make money for drugs. Bone likely turned to drugs, in part, to deal with his family situation. His parents were divorced and he lived with his mother and step-father. Later in the novel, it is revealed that Bone was sexually abused by his step-father as a child. Even through all of this trauma, Bone still wanted to be a good person, even if he didn’t know how to be one when he was young. Since he had no real role models, he lacked respect for authority and began acting out and rebelling.

Because of his early loss of innocence due to the abuse he suffered from his step-father and his unstable home life, Bone began rebelling against his family from a young age to find his own sense of identity. This lead him to start using drugs at an early age and eventually led him to seeking acceptance from other people involved in illegal activities, including his friend Russ and a biker gang. He got involved in stealing and selling electronics with these people. After a fire that was directly related to these activities, Bone and Russ were thought to have been killed in the fire, which allowed Bone to start a new life without his mother and step-father. This newfound freedom to be whoever he wanted set him further on his path as an anti-hero. He didn’t have anyone to answer to anymore, and could continue living his rebellious lifestyle without his parents finding him.

FreeImages.com / kristy petroff
FreeImages.com / kristy petroff

Some Who Wander Really are Lost

After living on the run together for a while, Russ returned home, but Bone continued wandering around from place to place until he met a girl name Rose and an older Jamaican man named I-man. Bone saved Rose from a life of pornography, which shows that Bone did want to do the right thing for people, despite his character flaws. He was a good person who just needed a bit of help himself to reach his full potential, even though he was still a drug-addicted rebel.

I-man was one of the only adults Bone had ever met who treated him with dignity and respect. His time with I-man helped him to become a better person, and to begin to get his rebellious tendencies under control. After trying to reconcile with his mother, Bone learned that his mother had split up with his step-father, but she still chose to get back together with him over Bone. This caused Bone to run away from his family again and go back to I-man. I-man took Bone with him to Jamaica, where he taught him more about Rastafarianism which helped Bone to feel more spiritual and become more mature as a person, even though he was still doing marijuana. He did learn to regulate his drug use from I-man, however, which in a way taught him to become more responsible.

FreeImages.com / Rinske Blok-van Middendorp
FreeImages.com / Rinske Blok-van Middendorp

The Journey’s End

Bone experienced two more losses of innocence when I-man was killed over a drug deal and he found out that Rose had died. He experienced another loss of innocence when he met his biological father while in Jamaica. Like Bone, his father was into doing drugs. Bone realized that he has only himself to rely on now after meeting his father and the novel ends with him leaving Jamaica and reminiscing about all of his friends that he had met and lost in his journeys. He started off as a delinquent anti-hero, but by the end of the story, through many experiences of loss of innocence, he really started to find himself and grow as a person.

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Jennifer Wilber

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, owlcation.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://owlcation.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)