Viewing Heritage And Identity Of An African American Family

992 Words4 Pages
Alice Walker attempts to depict the different ways of viewing heritage and identity of an African American family. During the first read, the audience sides with the narrator and Maggie against Dee/Wangero. The reader can see Dee/Wangero antagonist of the story. However, this is not the only way to interpret “Everyday Use”. Walker has created a more complex story than just right and wrong. After further analysis, the reader comes to understand that Wangero view of her cultural heritage and identity as a black woman in America is different than the view that Maggie and the narrator have. Wangero values the quilts differently than her family, however that does not mean she is the enemy in the story. In the initial reading of “Everyday Use”, the audience sides with the narrator and Maggie. The narrator sees the faults in both of her daughters. For instance, Wangero is depicted as intelligent, beautiful, and a bit bull headed (pg1532). Maggie is not very bright and she is like a timid, broken animal (pg1532). Dee had every advantage where Maggie had none. The reader immediately feels sorry for Maggie and the narrator. Where as the reader’s interpretation of Wangero only lessens throughout the story. Wangero wants more from life than staying in her small home town. When the family’s first house burned down the narrator thought that her daughter should, “dance around the ashes” (1532). When Wangero was young she rejected the quilts, her old home, and her family. Now, years later,
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