Essay on Dorothy Allison's This is Our World

Essay on Dorothy Allison's This is Our World

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Dorothy Allison's This is Our World


In her work, “This is Our World,” Dorothy Allison shares her perspective of how she views the world as we know it. She has a very vivid past with searing memories of her childhood. She lives her life – her reality – because of the past, despite how much she wishes it never happened. She finds little restitution in her writings, but she continues with them to “provoke more questions” (Allison 158) and makes the readers “think about what [they] rarely want to think about at all” (158).

I, too, share her opinion. I find this world hostile. It is something that I resisted to acknowledge, but then it stings in its reality when least expected. The people who do not know this have not yet seen the truth of the superficial lives they live. If these people did see their artificial lives, they might seek their green mile. I know and admit this, only because I have sought after mine.

Understanding how this world truly functions is easy to lose its scope. Many can only tell of how he or she came to realize it through his or her own life. In Dorothy Allison’s case, she was abused and raped by her own father. It is because of this that she finds herself standoffish with men. When she writes about her life and reaches her conclusions of harsh realities, who is to tell her she is wrong? Who can possibly stare her in the face and say, “You have it all wrong.” Is it even plausible to consider telling her that the majority of people never experience anything like that; therefore, the world is not such a horrible thing? How would she react? One could argue that it makes the world that much worse; not because she had it so bad, but because the rest of so...


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...t is the Rorschach test of what is inside of a person. One work can touch or go unnoticed by its audience; it projects their “secret lives” (159).

Allison has had a bitter past full of moments which have scarred her personality. She uses these and writes about the world that few are willing to admit exists. Many find refuge behind their gregarious nature and take comfort in religion or other bodies. However, that does not change the facts of what the world is and how it got there. Allison exposes her audience to these facts, and in the process, she shares her own view.

Works Cited

Allison, Dorothy. “This Is Our World.” Seeing and Writing. Ed. D. McQuade & C. McQuade. 1st ed. vol. 1 Boston: Bedford St. Martins, 2000. 155-60.

Eliot, T.S. “Preludes” T.S. Eliot: Selected Poems. Orlando, Florida: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1958. 22-4.

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