A Mother's Promise In Everyday Use By Alice Walker

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A Mother’s Promise Telling someone you love “no” might be one of the hardest things in life to do. In Alice Walker’s short story, “Everyday Use,” (re-printed in Thomas R. Arp and Greg Johnson, Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense, 12th ed [Stamford: 2015] 147-154), Mama had to do that very same thing. The story is about a daughter named Dee coming back home to visit her mother, Mama, and her sister, Maggie. Dee has left home and pursued an education, which no one else in her family ever obtained. Through background info and how the visit unfolds the reader can realize that Dee has never been told “no” in her life. After years of always getting walked over by Dee, Mama finally see’s that a promise is more important than preserving her race’s culture and in the process stands up to her daughter for the first time.…show more content…
Mama even recognizes this when she says, “. . . that “no” is a word the world never learned to say to her [Dee]” (147). Mama sees that Dee has been able to walk over everyone due to the fact no one has ever challenged her. This lack of heating the word “no” gives Dee a sense of entitlement to everything her heart desires. This is very noticeable when Mama tells her to take different quilts and she responds with “No I don’t want those. . .” (152). These few words show that instead of taking the answer she challenges her mother. Her challenging her proves that Mama in previous situations has given in to her
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