Persuasive Strategies In Alice Walker's Everyday Use

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In the excerpt from “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, Wangero tries to convince her mother to let her have her grandmother's quilts, instead of her sister Maggie. These quilts were made from the clothes of her grandmother, so they have a special importance to Wangero. She uses several persuasive strategies including anger, and belittlement in order to persuade her mother to let her keep the quilts. Through these characters and persuasive moves, Walker is saying that belittling others will end up hurting you in the long run. One of the ways Wangero tries to persuade her mother is by belittling her sister to make her seem stupid, and foolish. Wangero states “(Maggie would) probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use.” This strategy ultimately backfires when her mother tells her “(I’ve) been saving ‘em for long enough with nobody using ‘em. I hope she will!” What was meant to be a reason why Maggie shouldn’t have them, turned out to be Mama’s reasoning of why Maggie should have them. …show more content…

When her first technique failed, she tells Mama, “But they’re priceless!” The use of the word “priceless” is used to help Mama see more of a significance to these quilts. To Wangero, these quilts have an equivalent importance as something that could be found in a museum. She tells mama that “Maggie would put them on the bed and in five years they’d be in rags”. Wangero thinks that the quilt should be hung, while mama thinks that using it would be more

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