Sharp Objects

by

Gillian Flynn

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Alan Crellin Character Analysis

Camille’s stepfather. A nervous and simpering man, he has enabled and turned a blind eye Adora’s loathsome and even dangerous behavior for years. He has been Camille’s stepfather since she was a baby, but she has never felt comfortable referring to him as her father, and has always sensed an iciness between them.

Alan Crellin Quotes in Sharp Objects

The Sharp Objects quotes below are all either spoken by Alan Crellin or refer to Alan Crellin. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Toxic Mother-Daughter Relationships Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of Sharp Objects published in 2006.
Chapter 4 Quotes

Alan, Adora, and Amma were all gathered in the living room when I returned. The scene was startling, it was so much like the old days with Marian. Amma and my mother sat on the couch, my mother cradling Amma—in a woolen nightgown despite the heat—as she held an ice cube to her lips. My half sister stared up at me with blank contentment, then went back to playing with a glowing mahogany dinner table, exactly like the one in the next room, except that it was about four inches high.

“Nothing to worry about,” Alan said, looking up from a newspaper. “Amma’s just got the summer chills.”

I felt a shot of alarm, then annoyance: I was sinking back into old routines, about to run to the kitchen to heat some tea, just like I always did for Marian when she was sick. I was about to linger near my mother, waiting for her to put an arm around me, too. My mother and Amma said nothing. My mother didn’t even look up at me, just nuzzled Amma in closer to her, and cooed into her ear.

[…]

When I was a child, I remember my mother trying to prod me with ointments and oils, homemade remedies and homeopathic nonsense. I sometimes took the foul solutions, more often refused. Then Marian got sick, really sick, and Adora had more important things to do than coaxing me into swallowing wheat-germ extract. Now I had a pang: all those syrups and tablets she proffered, and I rejected. That was the last time I had her full attention as a mother. I suddenly wished I’d been easier.

Related Characters: Camille Preaker (speaker), Alan Crellin (speaker), Adora Crellin, Amma Crellin, Marian Crellin
Page Number: 58-59
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

“I’m sorry you had to see me that way, Camille,” Amma said. “Especially since we don’t really know each other. I’m just going through a stage,” She flashed an overdone smile. “But now we’re reunited. You’re like poor Cinderella, and I’m the evil stepsister. Half sister.”

“There’s not a speck of evil in you, sweetheart,” Alan said.

“But Camille was the first. First is usually best. Now that she’s back, will you love Camille more than me?” asked Amma. She started the question teasingly, but her cheeks were flushed as she waited for my mother to respond.

“No,” Adora said quietly. […]

“Because you love me,” Amina said, between mouthfuls of ham. The sick smell of meat and sweetness wafted over. “I wish I’d be murdered.”

“Amma, don’t say such a thing,” my mother said, blanching. […]

“Then I’d never have to worry again. When you die, you become perfect. I’d be like Princess Diana. Everyone loves her now.”

“You are the most popular girl in your whole school, and at home you are adored, Amma. Don’t be greedy.”

Amma kicked me again under the table and smiled emphatically, as if some important matter had been settled.

Related Characters: Camille Preaker (speaker), Adora Crellin (speaker), Amma Crellin (speaker), Alan Crellin (speaker)
Page Number: 67
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 15 Quotes

“Camille, if you could be any fairy-tale person in the world, who would you be?” Amma asked.

“Sleeping Beauty.” To spend a life in dreams, that sounded too lovely.

“I’d be Persephone.”

“I don’t know who that is,” I said. […]

“She’s the Queen of the Dead,” Amma beamed. “She was so beautiful, Hades stole her and took her to the underworld to be his wife. But her mother was so fierce, she forced Hades to give Persephone back. But only for six months each year. So she spends half her life with the dead, and half with the living.”

“Amma, why would such a creature appeal to you?” Alan said. “You can be so ghastly.”

“I feel sorry for Persephone because even when she’s back with the living, people are afraid of her because of where’s she’s been,” Amma said. “And even when she’s with her mother, she’s not really happy, because she knows she’ll have to go back underground. ” She grinned at Adora and jabbed a big bite of ham into her mouth, then crowed.

Related Characters: Camille Preaker (speaker), Amma Crellin (speaker), Alan Crellin (speaker), Adora Crellin
Page Number: 235-236
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Sharp Objects LitChart as a printable PDF.
Sharp Objects PDF

Alan Crellin Character Timeline in Sharp Objects

The timeline below shows where the character Alan Crellin appears in Sharp Objects. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Secrets, Lies, and Disguises Theme Icon
...adds that her mother is Adora Crellin. Vickery admits he knows Adora and her husband, Alan—Camille knows that everyone in Wind Gap knows them, as they have “real money,” something uncommon... (full context)
Chapter 2
Toxic Mother-Daughter Relationships Theme Icon
Secrets, Lies, and Disguises Theme Icon
Camille peeks her head out onto the back porch, where her wan, prim stepfather Alan is sitting and drinking. He greets Camille stiffly and formally, and then asks what has... (full context)
Chapter 4
Toxic Mother-Daughter Relationships Theme Icon
Abuse, Victimization, and Control Theme Icon
Secrets, Lies, and Disguises Theme Icon
Camille knows that her mother and Alan are both hypochondriacs, and that as a child, Adora used to ply Camille with ointments... (full context)
Chapter 5
Toxic Mother-Daughter Relationships Theme Icon
Abuse, Victimization, and Control Theme Icon
Rejecting Femininity  Theme Icon
Secrets, Lies, and Disguises Theme Icon
The next morning, Camille joins Alan and Adora at the breakfast table, and they call for their housekeeper, Gayla, to bring... (full context)
Toxic Mother-Daughter Relationships Theme Icon
Abuse, Victimization, and Control Theme Icon
Secrets, Lies, and Disguises Theme Icon
...tumors” at the news of Adora’s pregnancy, and died within a year of Camille’s birth. Alan, the son of Adora’s parents’ friends in Tennessee, began wooing Adora when Camille was still... (full context)
Toxic Mother-Daughter Relationships Theme Icon
Abuse, Victimization, and Control Theme Icon
Alan fathered Camille’s sister Marian when Camille was just a few years old, and Marian was... (full context)
Chapter 7
Toxic Mother-Daughter Relationships Theme Icon
Secrets, Lies, and Disguises Theme Icon
...about her own past—she never knew her father, and doesn’t even know how Adora and Alan met. Any questions she’s ever asked Adora about their family’s history are considered “prying.” (full context)
Chapter 9
Toxic Mother-Daughter Relationships Theme Icon
Abuse, Victimization, and Control Theme Icon
Secrets, Lies, and Disguises Theme Icon
...Camille and tells her that the two of them are going shopping in town—Adora and Alan are having a party next Saturday, and Adora is sure Camille needs a new dress.... (full context)
Chapter 11
Toxic Mother-Daughter Relationships Theme Icon
Abuse, Victimization, and Control Theme Icon
Secrets, Lies, and Disguises Theme Icon
When Camille gets home, Alan is waiting for her on the sofa. He tells Camille that she’s making Adora ill,... (full context)
Chapter 15
Toxic Mother-Daughter Relationships Theme Icon
Abuse, Victimization, and Control Theme Icon
...is happening, carefully brushes her teeth and gets dressed. She goes downstairs and walks past Alan, who is sitting on the front porch. He tells Camille that however she’s been treating... (full context)
Chapter 17
Toxic Mother-Daughter Relationships Theme Icon
...May 28th, Adora is arrested for the murders of Ann Nash, Natalie Keene, and Marian. Alan bails her out so that she can await trial “in the comfort of her home,”... (full context)
Toxic Mother-Daughter Relationships Theme Icon
Alan sends money for Amma to attend private school, and Amma quickly makes a small group... (full context)
Epilogue
Abuse, Victimization, and Control Theme Icon
Secrets, Lies, and Disguises Theme Icon
...did to Marian, and her lawyer begins planning an appeal. The Wind Gap house is abandoned—Alan has moved into an apartment near the prison where Adora is incarcerated. As the story... (full context)