Postmodern Deconstructionism In Alice Walker's 'Everyday Use'

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No matter what age or generation, people live in a world filled with opposition and conflict. Though this sounds harsh and unforgiving, this description is completely and utterly accurate. In society, people run into all sorts of oppositions without realizing it at all. For example, a person could walk into a darkened room and flip on the light without stopping to ponder the conflict between “light” and “dark”. These examples in our daily lives drones on and on from the difference between hot and cold water to the difference between your phone when it is on or off. Though these types of oppositions seem mundane to the average person, to a deconstructionist these distinct concepts are imperative in deconstructing a text. When people describe deconstructing a text, they are referring to the postmodern deconstructionism which focuses mainly on these oppositions and the type of relationship they share. When referring to these oppositions, a deconstructionist uses the word “binary” which can be found in literature of all types and through all sorts of literary interpretations. Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” is no exception to this concept with its story focusing on lifestyle and heritage differences displayed between the main characters. Though one can interpret “Everyday Use” as a story presenting the two binary aspects of “a traditional, heritage based, yet impoverished lifestyle” and “an affluent, modern, yet forward thinking lifestyle” as completely opposing concepts, one can

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