OW: “Why I Write”/”Sleeping with Alcohol”

Why I Write

Every sentence in Terry Tempest Williams “Why I Write” is a different reason for why she writes. So, what is the main gist if every sentence is a new idea? I would say that Terry Tempest Williams writes because she desires art with a purpose.  The purposes are numerous, but ultimately it all boils down to art with a purpose. Beyond purpose, this art is alive like a human being living life—in its ups and downs, its heartaches and joys.  Art come alive with a purpose is why I think TTW writes.  For her, it is her soul. I don’t know if I can fully relate to TTWs reasons. Beyond necessity or want, I do not write.  I only write when I want something—for a better grade, to sway a senator on an issue, to contact someone or it’s required.  I prefer images to writing, abstraction to concrete.  It seems ironic since my blog posts are very wordy/lengthy. The end goal of writing of course is limitless—it can do and accomplish just about anything.

Sleeping with Alcohol

I really liked Donna Steiner’s “Sleeping with Alcohol”. I felt as someone who doesn’t know her that her techniques for discussing her story were really effective.  I liked how she used distance by talking about herself in the third person for her drunk self and remaining in first person for her sober self.  For me, this use of distance was really effective in making her story all the more heartbreaking and sad.  By using first person, the person that interacts with the reader the most, it makes her seem like a person who genuinely, if she could, wanted to rid herself of alcohol’s enslavement.  It makes her seem like a person who is afflicted with alcohol abuse rather than an alcoholic.  In psychology we learned that the more PC term for alcoholism is to call them ‘person with alcohol use disorder’ and not ‘alcoholic’. They do this to label the disorder, not the person.  I feel that Steiner’s use of first and third person does what psychology aims to do by making it more PC. We feel more sympathy for Donna when first person presents her as a suffering victim.  The use of first and third person also makes it appear like she’s trapped in a body she can’t control, as if her super ego is watching from a distance as her id overpowers her ego.


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