Comparsion Of Kincaid's Girl And Walker's Everyday Use Essay

1600 Words 7 Pages
Everyone is raised within a culture with a set of customs and morals handed down by those generations before them. Most individual’s view and experience identity in different ways. During history, different ethnic groups have struggled with finding their place within society. In the mid-nineteen hundreds, African Americans faced a great deal of political and social discrimination based on the tone of their skin. After the Civil Rights Movement, many African Americans no longer wanted to be identified by their African American lifestyle, so they began to practice African culture by taking on African hairdos, African-influenced clothing, and adopting African names. By turning away from their roots, many African Americans embraced a …show more content…
The examination of black women's need to keep their powerful heritage and identity is important to the protagonist in “Everyday Use.” Walker uses the mother’s voice to show the trials and tribulations of a small African American family located in the South. She speaks on multiple levels, voicing the necessity and strength of being true to one's roots and past; that heritage is not just something to talk about, but to live and enjoy in order for someone to fully understand themselves. Unlike Kincaid, Walker gives her black female character’s an identity of their own, each in their own right, and observes the internal conflicts of each mother and daughters struggle with identity. The mother represents a simple content way of life where identity and heritage are valued for both its usefulness, as well as its personal significance. In order to illustrate how the mother viewed identity versus her daughters, Walker quickly acknowledges that the mother has inherited many customs and traditions from her ancestors. She describes herself as a large big-boned woman with rough man-working hands (485). She also describes here various abilities including, killing and cleaning a hog as mercilessly as a man. Being able to work hard and not care about being such a lady, is how the mother defines identity at this point. On the other hand, the two daughters each have opposing views on the value and worth of the different items