Characterization And Suspense In Alice Walker's Everyday Use

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An author’s positioning of details in a story can make or break a story. Many aspects of revealing details can go wrong, but those details can be used to build suspense when they are placed in the correct space. Characterization is a huge part of Walker’s piece, and the way in which she used imagery and past events builds suspense and provides only needed information. The suspense created by Walker creates a sense of uneasiness in the reader, and adds to the overall message of the story. Through foreshadowing, Alice Walker was able to build up her characters and her plot, while at the same time not giving away too much information too soon. Stories can easily be flooded out with too much nonessential information, but all the information…show more content…
Characterization can be broad or it can stretched past the horizon, and Alice Walker stretched it and took it to a new dimension. Suspense adds to a story by creating a feeling of uneasiness in the reader as it builds to a particular part in a story. The “parts” in this story would be the arrival of Dee and the ending where the mom decides that Maggie truly deserves the quilts, not Dee. As discussed in the first body paragraph, the moms longing for that stereotypical reunion builds and adds suspense leading to the reunion. Maggie’s reaction accumulates suspense, because the reader just wants to know what will happen next and what is happening. A car pulls up, and the mother announces that it is Dee and “Maggie attempts to make a dash for the house, in her shuffling way, but I stay her with my hand. ‘Come back here,’ I say. And she stops and tries to dig a well in the sand with her toes” (Walker 700). Walker not only adds suspense by Maggie’s reaction, she also paints a picture where the reader is able to visualize and feel what is happening. This visualization and feeling adds to the readers’ emotions and to the overall effectiveness of the story. As Dee and her “friend, “ Asalamalakim, interact with Maggie and her mother, the reader learns more and more about them. While one is reading and learning about Dee and Asalamalakim, they wonder how it pertains, but by the

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