Occasion: Alice Walker writes the story to draw attention to the mindset of the minorities. Walker was an activist. “Everyday Use” is a short story within a collection documenting the stories of black women, such as Alice Walker herself. Audience: Walker writes the story for everyone to read. The speaker is uneducated, so the writing in the first person is readable for beginners as well as educated adults.
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. Humor and irony play very important roles in Everyday Use. The humor found
I have chosen to analyze the literary piece of Alice Walker using the context of historical criticism. Historical criticism includes understanding the occasions and encounters encompassing the creation of the work, particularly the life of the creator, and utilizing the discoveries to decipher that work of writing. The author of “Everyday Use” takes up what is a repetitive topic in her work: the representation of the agreement and additionally the contentions and battles inside African-American culture. Alice walker utilizes portrayal and imagery to highlight the contrast between these elucidations and eventually to maintain one of them, demonstrating that culture and heritage are parts of daily life. The accentuation on the physical qualities of the yard or their extended living room, the pleasure in it points to the attachment that Mrs. Johnson as the narrator and Maggie have to their home and to the everyday routine of their lives.
The family leads a hard working, simple and minimalistic life that allows them just enough to get by. Mama is described as a “large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands” (Walker 418). Her day to day life doesn’t allow for the high standards of her eldest daughter Dee. Dee is described by Mama as being unappreciative and bratty. Mama makes is clear that the family’s socioeconomic status would never be good enough for the eldest daughter.
In her short story “Everyday Use,” Alice Walker takes up what is a recurrent theme in her work: the representation of the harmony as well as the conflicts and struggles within African-American culture. “Everyday Use” focuses on an encounter between members of the rural Johnson family. This encounter––which takes place when Dee (the only member of the family to receive a formal education) and her male companion return to visit Dee’s mother and younger sister Maggie––is essentially an encounter between two different interpretations of, or approaches to, African-American culture. Walker employs characterization and symbolism to highlight the difference between these interpretations and ultimately to uphold one of them, showing that culture and heritage are parts of daily life. The opening of the story is largely involved in characterizing Mrs. Johnson, Dee’s mother and the story’s narrator.
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. The author uses imagery as one literary device to showcase the overall theme of the story. Mama describes the burning of their house, “as she watched the last dingy gray board of the house fall in toward the red-hot brick chimney,” (Walker, 487). Walker also uses imagery to describe the other characters, “It stands up straight like the wool on a sheep, (488). In the essay, “Walker’s Everyday Use” by John Gruesser, it states, “Mama frequently describes Maggie as a docile, somewhat frightened animal, one that accepts the hand that fate has dealt her and attempts to flee any
In her short story “Everyday Use,” Alice White focuses on a rural family and their different interpretations of the African- American heritage. The story begins when Dee, the educated older daughter, comes to visit her mama and younger sister, Maggie. The two sister are completely different physical, mentally, and emotionally. Alice White uses characterization and different types of symbolism to show the difference between Dee and Maggie’s interpretations of the African-American culture and heritage. Alice White uses characterization to show the difference between Dee and Maggie’s interpretations of the African- American culture and heritage.
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. Throughout the story, the speaker, which is Mama, is recalling when Dee came to visit. When the point of view of the story changes and is then told from Dee’s point of view, you are now able to have access to the thoughts she has throughout this visit. In an article about point of view, the author stated, “For example,
In her short story by the name “Everyday Use,” Alice Walker kept up with her theme “African and American culture.” The story emphasizes the concept of individuality among family members raise in the same manner, by concentrating on the two sisters, Dee and Maggie, different personalities. Everyday Use story confers the basic conflict of sibling rival between members of the rural home of Johnson family. This encounter takes place when Dee who is the only member on the family to be given a collage education as well as her male friend return to have a visit to Dee’s mother and also younger sister Maggie. Walker employs a lot of characterization and symbolism to emphasize the dissimilarity that is between Dee in one hand and Mama and Maggie in the other, not only in appearance and life style, but also in their understanding of culture and honoring heritage. The opening starts with Mrs. Johnson, Mama, who is the story’s narrator waiting in the yard, which is “not just a yard.