The Importance Of Heritage In Alice Walker's Everyday Use

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“The past cannot be changed,forgotten,edited, or erased. It can only be accepted”(unknown). In “Everyday use” by Alice Walker the narrator ‘Mama’ tells a story about her struggling relationship between her and her two daughters. Although Mama gave Dee an extraordinary life she was still ashamed of their lifestyle. Which leads to the debate between Dee’s superficial and true heritage that is displayed through Mama and Maggie. In the process of trying to find her identity Dee deceived Mama and their heritage. Even though one can be granted with an envious life they can often be seen as ungrateful and selfish based on their attitude and personality. Although Dee is beautiful, had a good education, and nice clothes she never appreciated…show more content…
This also influenced the barrier between Dee and her family in which they have different ways of interpreting their values. According to Mama, Dee “never taken a shot without mak’ing sure the house is included” which portrays how dee is using them as a product for her own heritage while still maintaining a barrier between them. Also since Dee was raised having “nice things” she never wanted to recognize her past as growing up in a poverty setting because she was embarrassed of it. When Dee changed her name to “ Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo” she believed she was staying true to her heritage by having an African name, but she failed to realize her real name ‘Dee’ was passed down several generations back to when her family were slaves. Dee has changed her clothing as well to fit her new beliefs and it is the traditional African clothing which Mama finds peculiar because that was not how she raised her daughters. Ironically, Dee says “Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts” when she wanted to use them as decorations because they are beautiful, but never understood the meaning of the quilts and how it relates to their true
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