Dorothy Allison opens Two or Three Things I Know for Sure by acknowledging how other people view her family, especially the women who comprise it. “Peasants,” she writes, “that’s what we are and always have been. Call us the lower orders, the great unwashed, the working class, the poor, proletariat, trash, lowlife, and scum” (1). Despite the hostility she and the other women of her family have faced, she insists that she “can make a story of it, out of us” (1).
To start class today, I’d like you to reflect on the stories that Allison tells us. What do you think she’s trying to accomplish by telling them? What is she trying to tell us (or persuade us) about women, poverty, class, sexual violence, or agency? What does she mean when she writes, “The story becomes the thing needed” (3)?
As you respond to these questions, identify at least one significant passage that helps you answer them and that you would like us to discuss together as a class. Please post your response as a comment to this post.