Hunger In Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out Of Carolina

462 Words2 Pages
American literature has an uncanny way of conveying and contending with hunger and representations of hunger. Literary critics offer a plethora of arguments as to why hunger—as a theme in American literature—captivates writers’ as well as readers’ literary imaginations. It does not take a rocket scientist to deduce that the manifestation of hunger in American literature can be both literal and figurative; still both means of discussing deprivation can be problematic. As a result, one could assert that in a land purporting that people are able to live freely while pursuing that which makes them happy, writing about hunger is like eagerly discussing the huge pink elephant standing in the middle of the room. Interestingly, Dorothy Allison,…show more content…
Not only does hunger cause Allison to constantly think about what she lacks, it also causes her to consider creative ways to cope with lack. According to Allison’s explanation, “Hunger makes you restless. You dream about food—not just any food, but perfect food, the best food, magical meals…” ( ). Upon reading Allison’s description of hunger, the reader immediately notices her use of second person point of view. This is out of the ordinary because memoir writers usually communicate by way of first person of view. Therefore, one can assert that Allison’s use of second person point of view is to create pull the reader into the narrator’s experience. By eliminating distance, the reader vicariously experiences the emotions associated with hunger pangs. The author also recreates experiencing hunger for the reader because she seeks to showcase her coping mechanism; in so doing, the reader is able to better understand the author’s vulnerability. This is evidenced in author’s use of two words: “magical meals.” These two words indicate that the author’s hunger is not satiated appropriately. The author’s basic needs are not being met. As the text indicates, Allison’s depiction of ways that hunger causes disruption in her household (the private sphere) provides the platform to discuss social inequality in

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