Everyday Use by Alice Walker: A Look at Symbolism and Family Values

879 Words Jun 17th, 2018 4 Pages
Alice Walkers “Everyday Use”, is a story about a family of African Americans that are faced with moral issues involving what true inheritance is and who deserves it. Two sisters and two hand stitched quilts become the center of focus for this short story. Walker paints for us the most vivid representation through a third person perspective of family values and how people from the same environment and upbringing can become different types of people. Like most peoples families there is a dynamic of people involved, although all from the same environment and teachings, it is ultimately an accumulation of personal experiences that shape us and defines how we perceive our existence. “Everyday Use” is a story of conflict of right and wrong and …show more content…
Because, the quilts had been made by the grandmother’s hands, the work that went into the quilts is the reason for importance of saving or preserving them as a family heirloom. “Maggie”, knows the true value of the quilts, “Dee” seems to view them as any other common blanket. Alice Walker stated in the story that Maggie felt like the world never learned to tell Dee no. That is a direct reference to the mother never standing up to Dee and asserting her rightful place.
The character types in this story would be one dynamic character, one flat, and one static character. The role of the dynamic character in the story is “Maggie”, the daughter that is described in detail as well as a very in-depth look at her personal psyche. How Walker builds her character in the story starting from meek and sheepish to end up being the justified victor in the end is classic dynamic character definition. The flat character role in the story would have to be “Dee” the sister that is described just enough to give the reader an idea of who she is and what she is about. The reader is almost biased toward “Dee” by the end of reading because of the few details they are given to base their ideas from. The central character in Alice Walker's "Everyday Use," the beautiful Dee Johnson, breaks away from her Deep Southern American roots to become the heavily educated, urbanized, modernized young woman who despises her cultural setting”.(Hoel) The static character is the narrator or

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