Sharp Objects
Gillian Flynn
Contributed by Marshall Raine
Chapter 3
Summary

It’s now five days since she returned to her hometown, and Camille has yet to see her half-sister, Amma. During Natalie's funeral day, Camille notices that her mother does not wear black like other people. Instead, she wears blue. She remembers that her mother also wore blue during her sister Marian's funeral. Even though Camille does not have permission to attend the funeral, she does so to cover it in her story. At the funeral, she also notices that there are no children in attendance even though the ceremony takes place in a church. She cannot tell if  "it was out of respect for the parents, or fear-driven defense." She thought it was an instinct to protect the children from being noticed by the serial killer running around in town. "Without kids to tend to, the churchgoers seemed static, like paperboard cutouts holding the places of real people."

After the burial is over, Camille notes that a child's death is the only way parents can keep them theirs. Children grow and forge other potent allegiances. Nonetheless, Keene is buried in her family plot, which will always be a pure form of family, underground. People gather at Keene's’ home after the funeral. Camille moves around their home like a spy, searching for any relevant information for her story.

Camille then meets Lacey, a close acquaintance from secondary school, and realizes that being inside was distracting because she is swarmed by friends and pulled back to high school gossip and drama (Flynn 36). She later runs into O’Neele, one of Adora’s best friends. In the end, Camille leaves with nothing because she socialized too much. Then, she calls Keene’s family to get comments for her story, but Natalie’s mother declines to say anything and emphasizes that she wants Camille to leave them alone.

However, Camille manages to write a story briefly talking about the funeral and her boss, Frank, approves it. The boss then insists that Camille has to feature the families in the story. The following morning, Camille wakes up and starts her day with vodka. She drinks it from the flask. She then reveals to the reader that she had been sober for nearly six months but returning to her crazy hometown got her back to drinking. She briefly talks to her mother and leaves her house. On the way out, she meets Amma playing with a dollhouse that looks exactly like her mother's mansion. She realizes that she previously met Amma in the woods during Natalie's search party. However, she seems younger to her now. She then runs into Chief Vickery downtown who reveals that Ann, the first girl to be murdered, had killed a pet bird that belonged to her neighbor with a plank of wood. Ann had sharpened the wood with her father's hunting knife. Coincidentally, before coming to Wind Gap, Natalie had wounded her classmate's eye with scissors. The Kansas City's detective drives by, he introduces himself, but Camille seems uninterested and says nothing.

Analysis

The third chapter revolves around Natalie's funeral. After the funeral, Camille wakes the following morning and drinks vodka, though she reveals to the reader that she has been sober for nearly six months. Alcohol provides her with the courage to deal with her troubled life. Here, she finally understands that she truly hates her hometown and that both the town and alcohol are bad for her. In this manner, drinking, which becomes more serious as the story progresses, acts as a marker of her psychological state while at home. This chapter also introduces Amma, her half-sister. The reader learns that Amma is a voluptuous girl outside the home, but in her mother's house, she is a child. Amma’s behaviors throughout the novel furthers Camille's observation, in the woods she acts grown and catty, but while at home, she plays with her dollhouse. There is a discrepancy between her opposing personas which foreshadows something weird about Amma. The strangeness in Amma is broadened by her behavior when she insists that her dollhouse items be a replica of her mother's mansion. Although this may seem like she is spoiled, the extent of her strangeness is revealed in subsequent chapters.

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