Alice Walker Everyday Use Essay

546 Words3 Pages
Be it the quiet Maggie or prideful Dee of “Everyday Use”, one can see traces of Alice Walker in them and where they diverge into their own characters. To begin with, like Dee, Walker too changed her name, but the only difference lies in the reason that Walker did it in honor of her great-grandmother and grandmother, becoming “Alice Tallulah-Kate Walker” in 1941 (Walker xvi). On the other hand, Dee changed it to incorporate her heritage, which ends up being facetious and insult to the African culture seeing as “Wangero is not a Kikuyu name, but Wanjiru is” (Hoel 37). To add on, Dee’s middle name is a mixture of names “representing the whole East African region. Or more likely, she is confused and has only superficial knowledge of Africa and all it stands for” (Hoel 37).…show more content…
This further deepens their differences, since Walker is an actual intellectual on African traditions and heritage, having lived and been in Africa, while Dee “styles and dresses herself according to the dictates of a faddish Africanism and thereby demonstrates a cultural Catch-22: an American who attempts to become an African succeeds only in becoming a phony” ( Cowart 171). Although, their intelligence makes them more similar than one thinks, also leading to the fact that they were able to rise from poverty and achieve “ the dream of the oppressed: [they have] escaped the ghetto ( Cowart 171). In the year of 1961, Walker was capable of graduating as valedictorian of her year from Butley-Baker High and becomes a college student at Spelman (Walker xi). The way in which Alice Walker is knowledgeable on developing characters similar to her, yet branch off into different directions surely is
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