An Analysis of Alice Walker's "Everyday Use"<p> Alice Walker's novel, The Color Purple, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1982. This novel, in addition to her short story collections and other novels, continue to touch the emotions of a vast audience. This ability, according to critics, has "solidified her reputation as one of the major figures in contemporary literature" (Gwynn 462). Born to sharecroppers in Eatonton, Georgia, in 1944, Alice Walker's life was not always easy. Her parents strived to provide a home at a time when political and social unrest were at their highest. According to critic Barbara Christian, "[T]hat oppression fosters a sustaining spirit that appears in Walker's writing"<p>
(Kimmich). Walker attended Spelman …show more content…
To her and to Maggie, it is about all the little fabrics that went into<p> making the quilts. Each one of those little pieces of material signify something in someone's life. Using the quilts everyday, makes the work and the memories a part of daily existence. There is also the knowledge that if they wear out, new quilts can be made with new fabrics and new memories.<p> "Everyday Use" is about the relationship between a mother and her two daughters. In the beginning, the mother is very proud of her oldest daughter Dee's accomplishments, but also realizes that Dee has never been proud of where she came from. Dee comes home with a new interest in her heritage, and she wants to take back with her some things from home, including two quilts. These quilts are not wanted for sentimental reasons but as artwork to impress other people. The quilts have been promised to the younger sister, Maggie. Maggie is very intimidated by Dee. The story is about the conflict between the two sisters concerning the quilts and the change in perspective that comes to the mother as this conflict takes place.<p> The mother in this story, who is also the narrator, is a strong independent woman. The mother, while waiting for Dee to arrive for a visit, remembers Dee as very resentful and ashamed of her family history. She secretly wishes that Dee
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“Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, is a story of a black family composed of a mother and her two daughters: Maggie and Dee. Walker does an excellent job illustrating her characters. There are all types of characters in this short story from round to static. Dee is a flat character, yet Walker uses Dee’s character to warn people of what might happen if they do not live properly. Walker describes Dee’s character as arrogant and selfish, and through Dee’s character one is allowed to perceive the wicked effect of an egotistical world.
The story commenced with off with Dee, the eldest of two daughters, arrived at her mom's house with with modern attire, which truly shocked Mama. Soon enough, dinner begun and the protagonist continued to watch Dee take pleasure over the “benches her daddy made for the table when” they couldn't afford one (760).” Walker
This short story "Everyday use" speaks about the life of two young ladies and their mother. They are a poor family that lived in old-fashioned life but Dee the bigger sister don'y like that life.
In "Everyday Use," Alice Walker stresses the importance of heritage. She employs various ways to reveal many aspects of heritage that are otherwise hard to be noticed.
In Alice Walker's short story "Everyday Use" Mama is the narrator. She speaks of her family of two daughters Maggie and Dee. Through the eyes of two daughters, Dee and Maggie, who have chosen to live their lives in very different manners, the reader can choose which character to identify most with by judging what is really important in one’s life. Throughout the story three themes consistently show. These themes show that the family is separated by shame, knowledge, and pride.
Dee, from Walker’s “Everyday Use,” is Mama’s older daughter who not only has a judgmental, insensitive attitude towards Mama and her younger sister Maggie, but also believes she appreciates her family heritage more than Mama does, when in fact, Dee is the one who is “uneducated” and lacks an understanding about what her heritage truly is.
Through humorous comments, the mother paints a picture of what she is thinking, and allows the audience to see her as she is, and not as the world and those around her perceive her to be. Specifically the mother describes the characters appearance, and actions, as well as offers analogies, such as mothers on T.V. To support her view of reality, or how things really were, in her opinion. As the story progressed, she reveals cultural differences between Mama, Maggie and Dee. Walker also points out the importance of respecting your immediate heritage such as parents, and other family, and truly knowing and internalizing the real meaning of racial
The story 'Everyday Use', written by Alice Walker, is a story of heritage, pride, and learning what kind of person you really are. In the exposition, the story opens with background information about Dee and Maggie's life, which is being told by Mama. The reader learns that Dee was the type of child that had received everything that she wanted, while Maggie was the complete opposite. The crisis, which occurs later in the story, happens when Dee all of a sudden comes home a different person than she was when she left. During the Climax, Mama realizes that she has often neglected her other child, Maggie, by always giving Dee what she wants. Therefore, in the resolution, Mama defends Maggie by telling Dee that she cannot have the
Alice Walker wrote ‘The Color Purple’ in order to capture and highlight the hardship and bitterness African-American women experienced in the early 1900s. She demonstrates the emotional, physical and spiritual revolution of an abused black girl into an independent, strong woman. The novel largely focuses on the role of male domination and its resulting frustrations and black women’s struggle for independence. The protagonist, Celie’s, gain of an independent identity, away from her family, friends, work, and love life, forms the plot of the novel.
She plays both the father and the mother’s role to her two daughters. The narrator stated, “I can work outside all day, breaking ice to get water for washing” (Mama). This informs the reader that there is no man in the house to do this; therefore, the narrator has to do it. Also, Mama is uneducated. Mama said, “After second grade the school was closed down” (Mama). The narrator stated this in order to let the reader know that the last grade completed by her was second grade and to show how low of an education she has. It also informs the reader how heritage is followed, since only one of her daughters is going to school. In the short story, Mama’s relationship with her daughters is shown to be different from one daughter to the other. Mama mostly always favored Dee, and has good hopes for her future: “[W]e raised money, the church and me, to send her to Augusta to school” (Mama). This informed the reader that Mama would put Dee on top, and then Maggie on bottom. Although Mama preferred Dee, she would spend most of her time with Maggie and got along better with her. The narrator always talked about how Dee would make her mother and her sister Maggie’s self esteem go down: “She washes us in a river of make believe, burned us with a lot of knowledge…” (Mama). The reader can understand how superior Dee was to her sister and mother and how she would put them down.
Dee?s character in the story is a direct relation to any number of people in society that do not know or are confused about their heritage. She is struggling to create an identity for herself, and is confused as to what it encompasses. She grasps at African tradition and culture, yet fails to acknowledge her own African American culture. This happened all over America, particularly in the North, in the 1960?s, following the civil rights movement. Dee is misconstruing her heritage as material goods, as opposed to her ancestor?s habits and way of life. This may be due in part to her leaving her hometown and becoming an educated, sophisticated young woman. Dee?s direct heritage is that of African Americans.
In the short story Everyday Use, by Alice Walker, the short story is narrated by a black woman in the South who is faced with the decision to give away two quilts to one of her two daughters. Dee, her oldest daughter who is visiting from college, perceives the quilts as popular fashion and believes they should undoubtedly be given to her. Maggie, her youngest daughter, who still lives at home and understands the family heritage, has been promised the quilts. Dee is insistent to possess these heirlooms of family heritage, while Maggie is forbearing in allowing Mama to make her own decision as to who should receive the quilts. Dee shows a lack of appreciation, disrespect, and a distancing behavior towards her mother and sister. Mama
However, the one thing both sisters have in common are the family quilts. These quilts are described by Mama as being made from family members who have passed, which enhance their value. Maggie values the quilts because she learned to quilt from her grandmother and aunt. She hints that she sees the quilt as a reminder of them when she mentions, “I can’t ‘member Grandma Dee without the quilts” (360). Dee,
Mother was a proud woman because she had done everything for herself. She can work all day long and can do everything a man can do. She was always proud of where she came from and who she was. Dee, however, seemed to always want to either argue about it or just try and make Mother feel bad. Sometimes I don't know if she knew she was doing it, but her mother thought it was intentional most of the time. Mother built the house that they lived in, but she thought " No doubt when Dee sees it [the house] she will want to tear it down" (414).
The narrator described herself as large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands. She said she can kill and clean a hog as mercilessly as a man, and her fat keeps her hot in zero weather (444). She seemed to be a hard working woman, who differently from Dee is proud of her heritage and where she came from. It is understood she knew she may not have had the best life possible, but made the best of it. She knew Dee was the successful, popular child, but once Dee returned home with a changed name she saw her in a different light. She realized Dee’s doings were from throwing out the cultural heritage she belonged to into the new, hip black movement. She seemed to appreciate Maggie more after Dee tried to remove things from their house to show off. When Dee argued with her about giving the quilts to her instead of Maggie who was used to never winning, or having anything reserved for her the mother grabbed the quilts from Dee and handed them to Maggie. The mother is very grateful for her children, but is not going to let Dee, the daughter who has “made it”, take over the quilts meant for Maggie once she married.