Everyday Use By Alice Walker

1721 Words Apr 12th, 2016 7 Pages
In her short story “Everyday Use,” Alice Walker summarizes the representation of the beauty, the conflicts and struggles within African-American culture. “Everyday Use” focuses mainly between members of the Johnson family, consisting of a mother and her two daughters. One of the daughters Maggie, who was injured in a house fire and has living a shy life clinging to her mother for security. Her older sister is Dee, who grew up with a grace and natural beauty. “Dee is lighter than Maggie, with nicer hair and a fuller figure… (716) She also grew up determined to have a better life than her mother and sister. This takes place when Dee (the only family member to receive a formal education) returns to visit Dee’s mother and younger sister Maggie. Again this portrays a slight issue between two different views of the African-American culture. Alice uses symbolism to empathize the difference between these interpretations, showing that culture and heritage are parts of daily life. The title of the story, Everyday Use, symbolizes the living heritage of the Johnson family, a heritage that is still in “everyday use”. Alice begins her story with Dee’s mother describing her precious yard. The way the narrator describes this bond shows that the yard is something that she keeps very close to her house and that she’s proud. To Dee’s mother the yard, sort of represents a little quite place that she can think and put her thoughts together. She treats it like a child and makes sure…

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