African American Culture In Everyday Use By Alice Walker

865 Words4 Pages
In Alice Walker’s story Everyday Use, she represents the conflicts and struggles of earlier African American women. Walker describes the differences between the two sisters, which later shows the differences of the women in the African American culture. This is important because the ways of one’s culture and heritage is important to everyday life. One sister seems to be more of a common woman than the other.
The mother, who is the narrator of the story states in the beginning “I will wait for her in the yard that Maggie and I made so clean and wavy…” “When the hard clay is swept clean as a floor…” (Walker 249) representing the differences of the arrangement of housing then and now. She compares herself and her girls to their surroundings and
…show more content…
The mother says that “she used to read to us without pity; forcing words, lies, other folks’ habits” (Walker 251). Dee was always the one to want nicer things. Mama says “at sixteen she had a style of her own: and knew what style was” (Walker 251).
When Dee found a man figure, that was more relevant to her than her family, she changed her name. This, again, ruins the family tradition. Dee was named after her Aunt Dicie, who was named after her mother, Grandma Dee. Dee changed her name to “Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo” and wants to be called “Wangero.” Wangero’s, now, man began to judge her mother and gave her little sister Maggie a hard time. He seemed to be good for the family. When they sat to eat dinner he said he didn’t eat collards and the pork was unclean. This also, is ruining the tradition on African American culture.
Maggie’s mother promised her quilts for when she married, and when Dee found them she criticized Maggie and how she would put these quilts to use. All these years Dee looked past and their traditions and now all the sudden she wants to have a part of it. In reality she doesn’t deserved a single piece. Mama doesn’t back down from Dee and insists on her picking two different quilts. The quilts are going to be passed down to someone who will keep the tradition and heritage within themselves, and their
Open Document