Everyday Use and Sula are coming of age stories. They both illustrate times in people’s lives when they have to decide to how they are going to live with their past and themselves.
The short story "Everyday Use", Alice Walker emphasizes the aspect of individuality. The story focuses on the lives of two sisters, Maggie and Dee. Growing up together under the same conditions clearly created two very distinct individuals with contrasting views regarding their past, present, and future. When Dee arrives home from college, she portrayed herself as higher class; she put herself above her family and her past. During her visit, she was looking for valuable things to have in her home. While looking around, Dee notices two handmade quilts containing pieces of clothe that date back to the Civil War. Unfortunately, Mama has promised them to Maggie. Dee becomes disappointed and says, “Maggie would be …show more content…
The authors, Alice Walker and Toni Morrison, demonstrates how two women growing up together can lead to different point of views. In both stories, there is a woman – Sula in “Sula” and Dee in “Everyday Use” – returning home to find things the way they left them. Sula and Dee’s lives are considered very unconventional in comparison to their towns and families. In the case of Dee, she changed her name because, “I [She] couldn't bear it any longer, being named after people who oppress me." (Walker 1191) However, Sula follows a wildly divergent path and lives a life of fierce independence and total disregard for social conventions. Both characters emphasizes on what is takes to be different regardless of how their family or community viewed them as. These two stories are prime examples of black feminism in which Toni Morrison and Alice Walker have dealt with during their time. Both stories clearly argues that sexism, class oppression, gender identity, and racism are inseparably bound
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
The narrator and her children feel the quilts symbolize generations of war and poverty that their family endured over the years. On the other hand, not all family members share the same appreciation for the quilts. Adopting a different culture after going to college the oldest daughter, Dee, appreciates the quilt for being part of her legacy. She can't believe that the quilt was handmade. "These are all pieces of dresses Grandma used to wear.
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.
Dee always stood higher than her family, her town, her community, which made her mother and sister learn to roll with her punches. Finally, Mama says no to Dee, she takes a stand and we see the courage that the heritage and family behind mama help her take a stand and protect the family quilts for Maggie. In the end Alice Walker, author of “Everyday Use,” signifies the meaning of heritage and how it is remembered through symbolism, specifically through the making of the quilts and the courage that it brings to the
The quilts for Mama are valuable because they remind her of her family history. However, the conflict between Dee and Mama and Maggie is because Dee sees herself as better than they are. Dee thinks that Maggie won't appreciate the quilts the way she would. Mama thinks heritage is more family and traditions but Dee thinks it's more of something to display. However, Mama disagrees with Dee and gives the quilts to Maggie.
We all come from different background. We all have a different story about our ancestors and heritage. In the short story “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, Dee felt the need to go on a quest to embrace her roots. Dee’s actions symbolize that she wants to embrace her African culture. Dee does several things in order to connect with her roots by changing her appearance, changing her name, and wanting a family quilt.
These differences cause tension to wear on family relationships, ultimately causing Dee to leave in anger. Walker uses characterization, contrast, and imagery to portray Dee and Mama’s relationship, and that mother-daughter relations are not always as the parties wish them to be. Mama and Dee are characterized by their appearances, thoughts, and actions. Mama describes herself as stout, broad boned, and man-handed. Mama is described as somewhat inferior to her daughter, whose “humor…erupted like bubbles
Therefore, many of the items which Dee and Maggie see in the course of the story have radically different meanings. Dee, having had the advantage of leaving home to go to college, had her life changed by the lifestyle she was introduced to in the city. When she came home again, her view of the items which Maggie and her mother considered as everyday use items had taken on a whole new meaning to her, she now saw them as artifacts instead of things which were useful.
“Everyday use stresses the mother daughter bond and defines the afircan American womens identity in terms of this bond and other family relationships”(Andrews and McCann). Seeing the different views of the sisters really helps the readers understand the meaning of heritage. We don’t only see it between the sisters but the readers see it through minor characters like hakim a barber. “when hakim-a-barber says that he does not eat collard greens and pork- traditional African American foods- he symbolically denies his heritage despite his complicated African name” (“everyday use”). Hakim a barber is dee boyfriend who seems to be not so passionate about his heritage.
In the short story, “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, their are two distinct characters who are very different from each other. These characters have many different motivations, personalities, and points of views with respect to preserving their heritage. The narrator, Mama, looks at them both with different views. Dee and Maggie are two completely different people. Dee has different motivations than Maggie.
The comparison of characters is something an author allows us to do while reading a story, by telling us about the characters’ looks, their personalities, their lifestyles, and also the traits that may describe a character. “Everyday Use” written by Alice Walker, two characters named Maggie and Dee had a few things in common and many differences from each other. The characters Maggie and Dee, also known as “Wanergo,” are sisters who compete on who inherits the family heirlooms. The story is told from the mother’s (Mama’s) point of view.
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. Dee changed allot in the story, she changed after she went to study in school.
Characterization in “Everyday use” In “Everyday Use” Alice Walker creates the characters of Mom, Maggie, and Dee in order to explore the appreciation and values of African American culture and what it stands for. The story grows around one daughter Dee coming back home to visit her family. As one is introduced to the characters in “Everyday Use”, it becomes noticeable that the two sisters, Maggie and Dee, are very different. Maggie is portrayed as a homely and ignorant girl, while Dee is portrayed as a beautiful and educated woman.
This story talks about a family that consists of the mother (narrator) and her two daughters’ (Dee and Maggie). In the story they never say anything about the father because he was dead. The main things that the story is revolving around is the heritage and how it is important, the relationship between the two sisters, how education makes a differences, and finally about how generations changed by time. Alice walker gave the mother an important character in the story and she tried to show us how the father has a very important part of any family.
In Toni Morrison’s novel, Sula, Morrison utilizes the racist incidents within the Bottom to illustrate the submissive, degrading, and foolish influence of racist America on African Americans, while still successfully capturing the dignity and sense of community of the African Americans, ultimately demonstrating the stupidity of racism. Morrison first depicts African Americans as wanting to conform and assimilate into the white American culture through Helene’s Wright behavior towards her daughter, Nel Wright. By disliking Nel’s physical appearance, Helene represents the discrimination many African Americans have against their heritage and roots; therefore, she submits to the racism. The stupidity also becomes apparent because of Morrison’s
A constant comparison and contrast between Maggie and Dee is prominent structural feature of the narrative. This structural strategy helps in conceptualizing the plurality of female experience within the same milieu. This strategy encapsulates another dimension of womanism, viz. , womanism refuses to treat black woman as a homogeneous monolith. Unlike feminist position, womanism is sensitive to change with time.