Everyday Use By Alice Walker Summary

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The setting of Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” reveals important aspects about the family in many ways. Without the enriched setting provided to the reader by Walker, this story would have had no foundation on which to be built. The first way Walker uses setting to let the reader get to know the family is through the detailed description provided to the reader about the family home in paragraph one. Walker describes the family’s front yard as being an “extended living room” (Walker 417) She includes that the floor is composed of hard clay and sand which leads the reader to assume that the family is from a more poverty stricken region. The reader can make the assumption that the story takes place around the 1960’s during the Civil Rights Movement based off of the quote made by Dee addressing her younger sister Maggie at the end of the story “It’s really a new day for us. But from the way that you and Mama still live you’d never know it” (Walker 423). …show more content…

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. Walker’s inclusion of Dee’s attempt to burn down the family home is a great demonstration of how the physical landscape of a character can affect their mental

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