Everyday Use Literary Analysis “Maggie will be nervous until her sister goes. ”(Pg.50 line7) This is quote from the story Everyday Use by Alice Walker. The story revolves around a girl called Dee, her mom and sister Maggie. They have different opinions on different subjects especially relating to heritage.
The family conflict ties up with the heritage because Dee thinks very little about the valued things in her family, but Maggie and Mama thinks highly of them and they want to put them to great
She didn’t like her sister Maggie she also doesn’t like her mom allot and she didn’t like their house. From the main changes Dee made was changing her name. “No mama, she says not Dee, wangero Leewanik kemanjo “(Walker, 318, 25). She also brought her friend with her his name is Hakim-a-barber.
I’d wanted to ask her. She had hated the house that much.” This shows that Dee didn’t care much for her heritage, because she seemed so thrilled that the house had burned down. The way she reacted to the house burning shows that she didn’t care for her mother or
In attempts to reconnect with her African roots, Dee has changed her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo. Dee has also taken an interest in embracing her African heritage and has dressed in traditional African clothes to visit her mother. Her mother knows that Dee’s intentions are not genuine. Worrying more about taking pictures of her mother and collecting items that represent the African culture to take back home, Dee neglects to spend time with her family. Her mother notices that Dee, “Lines up picture after picture of me sitting there in front of the house with Maggie cowering behind me.
She felt that her original name, Dee, came from people that oppress her (Kirszner & Mandell, 2012). Her mother felt the name Dee was special because it represented her family heritage that was passed down through generations. The dasher was symbolic to both but in a different way. Dee felt it symbolizes artistry.
Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” illustrates Dee’s struggle for identity by placing her quest for a new identity against her family’s desire for maintaining culture and heritage. In the beginning, the narrator, who is the mother of Dee, mentions some details about Dee; how she “...wanted nice things… She was determined to stare down any disaster in her efforts… At sixteen, she had a style of her own: and (she) knew what style was.” Providing evidence to the thesis, she was obviously trying exceptionally hard to find for herself a sense of identity. She wanted items her family couldn’t afford, so she worked hard to gain these, and she found a sense of identity from them, but it also pushed her farther away from her family.
Looking at the story with Dee telling it would allow access to her thoughts so that the reader can understand why she is the way she is. It would allow the reader to access the deeper meaning to certain actions she takes and why she says the things she says. The point of view in a story determines so much for the reader including their feelings towards a certain character, in this case,
In the story, “Everyday Use,” the oldest sister Dee redefines her views of her family’s heritage. Dee leaves her rural home to receive an education in the city, but when returning back home she has changed completely. Specifically, Dee changes her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo which creates difficulties for her mother. In the story Dee explains, “Couldn’t bear it any longer, being named after the people who oppress me" (Walker 318). She views her past name as a reminder that African Americans are not given original names.
The story is told from the point of view of their mother, Ms. Johnson, and it is from her that we learn about the difference in the sister’s characters. Dee, who changes her name to Wangero, is outspoken and is the educated sister. Maggie is shy and appears to be ashamed of the burns on her skin. “[Maggie] thinks her sister has held life always in the palm of one hand, that ‘no’ is a word the world would never learn to say to her” (Walker 6). This is important because, in the end, Dee does not get her way.
The character Dee represented in Walker 's story shows how easily one can completely depersonalize heritage while showing mannerisms of condescending nature. Dee’s name was in fact passed down from her grandmother and given to her as a symbol of respect for family and fondness for their grandmother. Dee completely oblivious to the nature of her given name simply changes it to what she believes is her authentic African name. “No, Mama,” she says, “Not Dee; Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo!”(492). Displaying the name in boastful temperament and parading it in front of her mother and sister.
Due to Dee receiving an education, she has always been able to do more than her sister and mother. Dee experienced life outside of the house she was raised in and was able to see the world and other people around it. Her contact with other cultures changed her values when she decided to assimilate into their beliefs. Maggie, however, had never observed the outside world. She finds comfort in her own family history and heritage and has completely learned about it.
It also shows that she is having a hard time without a husband. She was doing the father and the mother job in the same time. Education was one of the main reasons that separated Dee from her family. Education make her loss the sense of heritage and the love of her family and also the school made Dee prefer modern life than the one she was
She seems to be brutal in her assessment of her daughters, but one gets the feeling that it is out of love. For example, she says that Dee has become ungrateful and uppity since she got her new life. She however daydreams of the day they will meet on a talk show, and her daughter will thank her. She muses, "I am