Analysis Of The Poem ' Everyday Use By Alice Walker

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“Guided By My Heritage” (“In Search” 243) - Interpretations of Heritage In “Everyday Use,” Alice Walker uses relics from Dee’s past to demonstrate the importance of heritage through the understanding of inheritance and ancestry. Heritage in this story is understood as recognizing from where a person has originated. Walker correspondingly compares inheritance to art, something which should be used daily and passed on to future generations. Heritage and inheritance both have the same French root word: heriter- meaning inherit, implying that for one to truly realize and grasp their heritage they must first accept what they have inherited, in this case the quilts, and utilize them. In the story, being aware of one’s heritage is a significant conflict that troubles the characters. At the end, Mama and Maggie are the ones that carry on their tradition in the present and truly understand the true meaning of heritage. Throughout the story exists an overlying theme of comprehension of one’s heritage and ancestry. In contract to this theme, Dee is viewed as hypocritical when claiming she is reconnecting to her African roots, her supposed heritage, because numerous times she contradicts her beliefs and principles she is to uphold. If she is truly connected to her African roots, then she would essentially adopt all parts of the culture and religion. Considering that she has married Hakim-a-barber, who declares the Islamic greeting “‘Asalamalakim, my mother and sister’” (Walker

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