Dee is a girl who lived with her mom and her sister Maggie, but she wasn’t like them at all, she was different than her sister and her mother. Mama was collecting money to take Dee to school in Augusta. Dee liked to be fashionable, she always wanted nice things.
A simple powerful story of a rural family that contains a returned changed daughter leaves a family in surprise. “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker demonstrates that the theme of the story that consists different views of heritage by using literary elements like characterization, imagery, and settings. Each literary element holds a strong value to define the meaning of heritage from different perspectives of the characters. Alice Walker demonstrates it by Mama, Maggie, and Dee by how they each value their heritage by the things that they have left from their ancestors.
Speaker: Alice Walker writes in a first person point of view. The speaker is a single mother who “never had an education” (Walker 49). She is a minority, and accepts the lower status: “Who can even imagine me looking a strange white man in in the eye?” (48). The mother refuses to challenge the people society deem as better than her.
“Maggie will be nervous until her sister goes.”(Pg.50 line7) This is quote from the story Everyday Use by Alice Walker. The story revolves around a girl called Dee, her mom and sister Maggie. They have different opinions on different subjects especially relating to heritage. Dee is also really selfish which makes her have tension between her family since she only cares about herself. Throughout the story, there were a lot of conflicts between Dee and her family which shows with the quilt incident, butter churn controversy and lastly different views on heritage.
Have you ever not seen eye to eye with your mother? In Alice Walker’s short story “Everyday Use”, we are shown how many of the choices we make and the things we value create our identity. This story focuses on two characters, mama and her daughter Dee (Wangero), who struggle to see the same way about their heritage. Dee wants the things made by her grandmother, to not admire it as an artifact, but rather to remake it. She wants to take them, and change them to match her lifestyle as it is today. She loves them for the way they look. Mama, on the other hand, views the things from her mother as artifacts. She loves the items more than how they look. She admires the quilts because of their everyday use. Transformations take place between these characters. Dee’s transformation is more external than it is internal. She shows her transformation in the way she speaks, the clothes she wears, and her judgement. Mama’s transformation is more internal. She begins to see Dee’s real thoughts, and she stands up against her. When she takes the quilts away from Dee, she doesn’t only stand up for herself, but Maggie, as
The short story, Everyday Use, is written by Alice Walker. This short story tells about the narrator, mama, and her daughter Maggie wait for a visit from Dee, mama’s older daughter. Throughout this short story, the reader can see the distraught relationship between mama and Dee. The reader can see how Dee is different than mama and Maggie; she thinks that she knows way more about her heritage than mama and Maggie, when she really does not. In the short story, Everyday Use, Walker uses imagery, symbolism, and point of view to show that heritage can only be understood when one is true to their roots.
In “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, the meaning of heritage is admired differently by a family of the same background. Dee who now has an education and understands her heritage feud with Mama and Maggie who appreciate their heritage. Although they all come from the same household, their differences get in the way when it comes to the most valuable items in the house; including the churn and dasher that Mama and Maggie still use daily, the handmade quilts made by Grandma Dee, and how Dee is blinded by the truth of her own heritage.
The point of view in the story “Everyday Use,” by Alice Walker plays a big part. Throughout the story, one of Mama’s daughters came to visit. The way Mama and Maggie see her is not in a very pleasant way. In fact, they are scared to tell her no when it comes to anything. From Mama’s perspective Dee seems like this rude, stuck up, spoiled child because she had the opportunity to go out and expand her education, while Mama and Maggie continued to live their lives on the farm. On the other hand, if the point of view was switched to Dee, the way the reader views her, has a possibility of changing.
Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” illustrates Dee’s struggle for identity by placing her quest for a new identity against her family’s desire for maintaining culture and heritage. In the beginning, the narrator, who is the mother of Dee, mentions some details about Dee; how she “...wanted nice things… She was determined to stare down any disaster in her efforts… At sixteen, she had a style of her own: and (she) knew what style was.” Providing evidence to the thesis, she was obviously trying exceptionally hard to find for herself a sense of identity. She wanted items her family couldn’t afford, so she worked hard to gain these, and she found a sense of identity from them, but it also pushed her farther away from her family. As the story progresses,
Alice Walker’s Everyday Use (rpt. in Thomas R. Arp and Greg Johnson, Perrine’s Literature Sound and Structure 11th ed [Boston: Wadsworth, 2012] 166-173) is a short story told by the mother of two daughters, Mama. The story tells the tale of the return of Mama’s oldest daughter, Dee, and the problems that Dee’s return causes for Mama and her youngest daughter, Maggie. This short story includes humor and irony, displays detailed characterization, and portrays a very effective point of view. These three literary elements contribute to this story by giving insight into the past and the true personalities of the characters, and the way the characters have changed over time.
How does a person value heritage and what type of impact does it hold on a family with a substantial history? Taking a glimpse beneath the surface of family relationships and views on traditional heritage, author Alice Walker showcases a true grasp on letting readers see into the compassionate lives of three strong female leads. With her short story “Everyday Use” each character relatable and described in such detail, the reader can truly sympathize and understand the impact heritage brings to a family. Walker’s compelling short story “Everyday Use” explores how complicated family dynamics can impact the attitude towards heritage through the three female leads.
In the short stories we have read there have been numerous themes. The impact of tradition, the value of heritage, the importance of family, the divide between social classes, and the presence of love are all ideas that can be found in the stories we have read. Short stories have managed to encapture the importance and true meaning of life in just a few sentences by imposing on the readers themes we can all relate to. A common theme presented in Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” and Toni Cade Bambara’s “The Lesson” is the power of knowledge and education.
Literary genius is a term thrown around often in this day and time. Many might say that the literary world has been diluted. However, if there is one who deserves that title, it is Alice Walker. It is especially so for her piece, ‘Everyday Use’. The short story was first published in 1973 as part of the author’s short story compilation. The collection was aptly named ‘In love and trouble’. The Pulitzer Prize winner uses the book to interrogate how black women deal with race identity and racism in the United States. This writer shall offer an analysis of the short story.
Alice walker in Everyday Use demonstrates the understanding of African American heritage. Understanding your heritage is important because you should always look back on where you came from. Where you came from is such a big part of who you are and is something know one can take away from you. When you understand your heritage, you get to pass it on to others. Walker does this by using characterization, symbolism, and theme.