Family And Heritage In Everyday Use By Alice Walker

Decent Essays
Alice Walker’s story “Everyday Use” is a story decipating family and heritage. She released the story with a collection of other short stories called In Love and Trouble: Stories of Black Women. This collection revealed Walker to be one of the finest of late twentieth century American short-story writers (Phy-Olsen). According to Cowart, the story address itself “to the dilemma of African Americans who are striving to escape prejudice and poverty.” One of the main characters, Dee, made drastic changes and would like her mother and sister to see things her way. Dee’s statement to her mother and sister regarding their disregard of heritage is very ironic considering the fact her name is a part of the family’s history, her new behavior, and her…show more content…
Walker use of this situation shows a bigger issue in African Americans families. According to Werlock, the issue is must “African Americans turn their back of their background and traditional family.” According to Cowart, Dee believes she has escaped the ghetto. In her mind, she has the right to act different from her mother and sister because now she is living at a higher standard than they are. Yet with this mindset, she is trapped with them mentally. Although Dee does not want any dealings with her African American background, she still wants the sentimental items that come with it. This entire situation is very ironic seeing that she degraded her family’s heritage earlier in the story. Cowart viewed this situation as “hopelessly selfish and misguided.” The irony in the situation is that she did everything she could not to be connected to the family, yet she still wants items that are family heirlooms. Walker proves that no matter how hard one try to disconnect from a family; it will always be there in some shape. Alice Walker used her writing to convey a message to African Americans. She used her character to show that although one might try to remove himself or herself from a race they will always be connected to it. The situation Dee is going through is generational issue for African Americans. They are always on a constant search to find their place in this world. Walker exemplifies this in
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