Alice Walker

792 Words4 Pages
In the short film and story “Everyday Use,” Alice Walker focuses on the constant battle that takes place in our society within that African Americans community of understanding the African-American culture and ancestry; leading to the differences within the Johnson family. This confrontation takes place between Dee, the only educated, ambitious yet cold one in the family; Maggie and their mother Mrs Johnson. The short film and story focuses on two different perspective and approaches towards the African-American culture. Alice Walker uses dramatization, individual personalities, and symbolism that draws attention to the Johnson family’s disagreement of how they display their culture and heritage. In the story, we are introduced to Dee…show more content…
Johnson. She is the only one in the family to have an education which has shaped her into the ambitious, free spirited woman she is, which has set her apart from her family and its tradition: “She used to read to us without pity; forcing words, lies, other folks’ habits, whole lives upon us two, sitting trapped and ignorant underneath her voice” (316). Dee has forgone her family 's traditions and picked up new ones. She changed her name and picked up a new heritage of finding her African roots and…show more content…
Maggie’s burns and scars are a representation of the African American’s journey through rough, hard times we still face in this time period. The quilt symbolizes each person in the Johnson’s family throughout history being passed down from Mrs. Johnson’s mother to her and now to Maggie, which shows their family’s tradition and culture. Maggie and Mrs. Johnson see it as an ordinary purpose, whereas Dee, being furious and in favor of the black history but not the slave history “you don’t know your heritage” (317) identifies this quilt to have more meaning behind as a representation of her culture that needs to be hanged up in a museum to show people how far the African American culture has come. Ultimately, the African American culture should be embraced as well as the African culture. The quilts were made by their grandmother with clothes worn by family members of everyday life. “Everyday Use” brings out a problem that everyone should be educated about both the black history and slave history. It brings in the question of self-identification and knowing who you are and your background along with how your culture does have an impact in your everyday
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