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.

Neil Criticizes Hope because of her lack of a romantic life. She in turn criticizes Neil for having a 14 year old boyfriend. Following the argument Neil professes his love for Augusten, something he does a bit too frequently for Augusten’s comfort.

The previous night he gave Augusten a 16 page letter full of declarations such as "nothing else matters as much as the fire behind your eyes and between your legs". Augusten feels there is something wrong with the relationship, but enjoys the attention. He also enjoys the sex-and Neil is all too willing to fill any desire that Augusten’s teenage experimentation comes up with.

One night, after having sex, Augusten decides to dye Neil’s hair. This is his first attempt at coloration and although it is supposed to be ash blond, it turns out greenish brown. At first Neil seems mildly upset. Augusten forcefully tells him to that he will get used to it. Neil then caves in and says that Augusten can do anything he wants to do to him.

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