Running with Scissors Study Guide

Running with Scissors

Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

Running With Scissors is a memoir in which Augusten Burroughs recounts his unusual childhood after his mother sends him to live with her psychiatrist, Dr. Finch, at age twelve. There are few rules in the Finch household, and both Augusten and Dr. Finch's other children do mostly as they please, including smoking pot and having sex. At age thirteen, Augusten begins a sexual relationship with Finch's thirty-three-year-old son. Despite this unorthodox, and at times damaging, parenting method, Augusten comes to think of the Finches as his family.

Augusten discovers he is not the only guest at the Finch’s house. In an upstairs room, lives a woman named Joranne who is a patient of Dr. Finch with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The woman keeps her room spotlessly clean (in stark contrast to the rest of the house) and only leaves the room to use the restroom. She has her own restroom which she alsokeeps shining. She also eats the caulk from around the sink . All of her meals are brought to her by Agnes, Dr. Finch’s wife.

Hope introduces Augusten to Joranne as she is having an episode over a dirty spoon. Hope tells him that she will soon be ready to leave the house and live on her own. The fact that Dr. Finch could fix such a person is impressive to Augusten, but he is also fascinated by Joranne and her disorder.

Deidre comes to pick up Augusten in a complete trance and barely acknowledges the fact that he is there.

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