- Deliberate Values Dissonance: In the book, the doctor is angry at Anney when he discovers Bone has a broken coccyx (tailbone) and makes it clear it could only be broken either purposely or through a really severe beating. He is then escorted away by the nurse, who says he's new here. At the time the book was set (the late 1950's) mandated reporting laws did not exist - and in the place the book was set (rural South) there was and to some extent still is a huge distrust of governmental bodies intervening in family affairs.
- Moral Event Horizon: Glen sexually assaulting Bone when his wife is giving birth for the third time may be one, Glen raping Bone when she stood her ground on not moving back with him or making him a sandwich at the climax is another, and finally Anney rushing to hold Daddy Glen when he was hitting his head after she walked in on him raping her daughter. Also running away with him and not taking Bone to the hospital.
YMMV / Bastard out of Carolina