Everyday Use By Alice Walker Identity Essay

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Identity is found throughout history, from the Renaissance, the world wars, the modern day, and in this short story, “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker. The Author, Alice Walker, writes from the perspective of a mother in the 1960s; the mother's family consists of her, Mama, and two daughters, Maggie and Dee. The story follows the mother as she relives her past and watches her daughters grow up and face similar struggles of being an African American woman in the 60s. In Alice Walker’s short story “Everyday Use,” the theme of identity is demonstrated through the setting, Mama, Maggie, and Dee/Wangero.
Before the story's events, the characters suffered a severe house fire. The reader can notice a flashback where Mama relives a moment of the fire. …show more content…

However, she constantly compares herself to her kids, believing they are mentally stronger than her. “Who can imagine me looking a strange white man in the eye?… I have talked to them always with one foot raised in flight… Dee, though, would always look anyone in the eye. Hesitation was no part of her nature.” (Walker 1). This allows the reader to see that Mama is proud of her kids, as she speaks highly of them. Mama is very “manly” in her own way while keeping and maintaining a soft side through her kids, even though she believes that they are more confident and strong-willed them she ever …show more content…

Dee is strong and confident, and while she is still figuring things out, she holds her ground and keeps a solid will to do so. “She was determined to stare down any disaster in her efforts. Her eyelids would not flicker for minutes at a time… she had a style of her own, and knew what style was.” (Walker 2). Here Dee would hold her ground to anything, the reader can see that Dee is super strong-willed and won’t stop for anything, but in this following quote, Dee is no longer “Dee.” “‘Not ‘Dee,’ Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo!’ ‘What happened to ‘Dee’?’ I wanted to know. ‘She’s dead,’ Wangero said, ‘I couldn’t bear it any longer, being named after the people who oppress me.’” (Walker 4). Some people could argue that Wangero knows who she is, but as the reader keeps reading, Wangero is wrong about her past. With her being bad about her past, it is hard to say what her identity is, but one thing is for sure, she is very, very confident about what she says and believes in, and doesn’t let anyone change that even if she still hasn’t found her

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