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Carol is rather uptight. She, like some of the rest of her family according to Piper, doesn't like to deal with serious issues when they are presented. This is shown when she comes to visit with Piper and does not like to discuss the fact that Piper is in prison at all.
She also seems to have the mindset that she and her family are better than most people, and is thus rather disappointed in the things her children do (e.g. the things for which Piper is incarcerated, her son's getting married at her mother-in-law's funeral). It is assumed that she is uncomfortable with the fact that Piper is bisexual; however, she is not unaccepting of it like her husband Bill is.
Physical Appearance Edit
Carol is tall and blonde, similar to her daughter Piper and son Cal.
Before Litchfield Edit
Based on the photos of young Piper Chapman enjoying a bath in a sink and playing in her room, they lived like any other upper-middle class family.
When a young Piper presented evidence that Bill had been cheating on her after seeing him kissing a woman opposite the movie theater, Carol's reaction was to become angry with Piper for seeing an R-rated movie instead of acknowledging what her daughter saw during her theater trip and talking to her about it. When an upset Piper mentions this to her paternal grandmother, Celeste, Celeste asks if Piper had really expected any other reaction from her mother, to which Piper reluctactly agrees, "I guess not". This incident is shown to have shaped Piper's behavioral and moral patterns in the future.
When she realized her daughter was an ex-drug mule to an ex-lesbian lover she didn't outwardly display emotion, and instead asked questions to better understand the situation. However, this is likely more due to Carol's way of dealing with issues so as to appear respectable rather than a true acceptance of her daughter's behavior.
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Carol is seen outside the prison with other inmates' family and loved ones. At one point she talks to Suzanne's mother about having daughters in prison. Near the end of the season, Piper sees her outside and calls her. She tells her that while she never used to be afraid of dying, she is now that she has Alex. Carol shares with her a story from college when the campus was flooded and Piper's father got in a boat and brought her and her friend food- canned corn. That's when she knew she was in love with him. Although she made a slightly homophobic comment, Piper said they were making progress.