Paula Gunn Allen American Literature Analysis
American Indians honor all existence as sacred. They do not set up arbitrary barriers between spirit and matter, human and other-than-human. Instead, they perceive the universe as living, dynamic, and fluid, with each being (such as trees, rocks, animals, water, and humans) contributing its own awareness to the integrated and constantly reforming continuance of the whole. In all of her writings, Allen was an “environmental advocate” who revealed the consequences of harmonious and disharmonious relations with the universe. In “Los Angeles, 1980,” Allen describes the “vitamin-drenched consciousness” of the city-dwellers: “The death people do not know/ what they create, or how they hide/ from the consequences of their dreams.”
To Allen, the female force was “about balance and mutual respect and reciprocal obligation.” Reality involves a vigilant awareness of, and caring for, self, others, and place, because all realities coexist in the cycle of life. Time itself is fluid, and spirit is the creative force. The journeymaker who walks in balance recognizes the essential beauty of the universe and explores each experience for its fundamental, communal truth. In Grandmothers of the Light: A Medicine Woman’s Sourcebook (1991), Allen teaches a spiritual discipline through twenty-one stories of tribal tradition and sacred power.
Allen was taught that her mind is irrevocably hers, an aspect of her reality that no one else...
(The entire section is 2189 words.)
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