Jagriti Yadav Eng Paper 5 Comparative analysis of Dorothy Allison’s “Don’t Tell Me You Don’t Know” and “I’m Working on My Charm” Dorothy Allison’s “I’m Working on My Charm” is a story of a young sixteen-year-old girl who works as a waitress with her mother. As a young daughter coming to the same field as the mother, the mother becomes a role model here and supports and helps her daughter on becoming a good waitress. She makes sure the environment her daughter is working on is good and that she is aware of the Yankees. Yankees doesn’t see waitresses on the same level as they are. So, the mother is worried how her daughter will deal with Yankees and makes sure she knows how to handle different situations. The daughter is taught to use her charm to influence people. Also, Mabel, her mother’s friend, teaches her how to bet on tips from customer. This story illustrates how an older person can be a guide for younger ones to be successful and accepted in the society.Allison Dorothy’s story “Don’t Tell Me You Don’t Know,” is about the relationship between the narrator and her mother and focuses on how women choose to live in abusive relationships because of factors like low economy and need for support from her husband. The narrator lives far from her relatives because she cannot see herself being bound by the society and its rules which doesn’t seem to change according to modern-day perspectives on gender roles. She hates her mom and doesn’t even call her often because she is not happy with the fact that her mom and her aunts live with their husbands who don’t respect women. She is furious because she wants the women to act against the misbehavior of their husbands. The narrator seems lamenting as well, as she herself couldn’t do much to change the situation and make it better. Her aunt Alma visit is unexpected which brings up the subject to children and this is when the narrator reveals the abuse that she suffered from her stepfather and the fact she feels that because she is homosexual, her family won’t accept her. Aunt Alma tells her of the condition her mom is living and that she needs love and care from her children at this old stage of her life. The narrator has a lengthy conversation with her aunt and she finally decide to go back home and make things better. The central idea of the story focuses on ways in which women are subjugated by men in their lives but that is only through connection and communication with other women that true healing can occur. Both stories have man vs man conflict. In this case it’s a mother or someone who is like a mother figure i.e. Aunt versus daughter conflict. In both narratives the guardians are worried about the daughters. In the story “I’m Working on My Charm” the conflict is shown when the mother says, “You’re not working any more Thursday nights” (I’m Working on My Charm). This illustrates how the mothers are preparing their daughters for their respective societies. In the story “Don’t Tell Me You Don’t Know,” Man vs man conflict can be seen when she talks with her aunt Alma and their view doesn’t seem correlating on the issues specific to society. While man vs society conflict is seen when the narrator blames how society works and how women are considered less powerful compared to men and how they depend on men for their survival. The narrator blames herself saying she didn’t try to improve the condition of her mom and aunt instead she leaves the place. The narrator could have done something or said something to her abusive father, but she didn’t, so she questions herself which shows her internal conflict.The language in both the story is minimalistic.The clear use of syntax makes it easier for people to understand and read the story. Some of the things are not clearly stated in both stories and is left upon readers to understand. For example in “Dont Tell Me You Don’t Know” the fact that the protagonist is a homosexual is not clearly stated but is said in an indirect way. Both stories have sad and convincing tone. In both stories we see how girls are always not seen equally competent as boys. In “Don’t Tell Me You Don’t Know” the main character is living away from her family as she is not happy with how her aunt and mom basically the women are treated in a household. Same goes in the story “I’m Working on My Charm” where the mother is worried about how her daughter is going to deal with Yankees and she is going to be treated by others. The language and tone connects to the central idea that the older generation has much experience and younger should understand what they have to say and follow them.Works citedAllison, Dorothy, “Don’t Tell me you don’t know,” Trash: stories, Plume, 2002Allison, Dorothy. Trash: Stories. New York: Plume, 2002. Print.