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.

Agnes says that Natalie bears a striking resemblance to Lady Diana spencer while watching her on TV. Evidently these comparisons are somewhat frequent. Unfortunately, as Agnes soon points out, Natalie is quite a bit heavier and lacks Lady Di’s figure. After lambasting her mother with sarcasm about this comment, Natalie takes twenty dollars from her purse despite her mother’s objections.

After a moment of lamenting over her excess weight in front of a mirror, she and Augusten go to McDonalds and spend all but 40 cents. Natalie has the idea of visiting Father Kimmel, a Catholic priest who is her father’s "spiritual brother" in order to get money to go to the movies.

Augusten briefly remembers a time when he had discovered a Hustler magazine in Kimmel’s desk drawer on a previous visit.

With very little effort, they leave with twenty five dollars. Natalie says she thinks the priest was eyeing her breasts, but says it was worth it since they’d secured enough money to see "On Golden Pond".

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