Themes In Alice Walker's Everyday Use

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People tend to seek comfort by surrounding themselves with the things they find most meaningful. Some take it to the extreme and shy away from their true self in order to achieve this goal. In the short story Everyday Use, Alice Walker uses the themes to create conflict amongst the characters throughout the plot. Dee is an extreme pessimist about the previous conditions of her life. She has rejected her real heritage, and does her best to create a new, more glamorous one. Dee changes her name to “Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo”, because she feels it is a better fit for her African heritage. This is ironic, because “Dee” has been passed down in her family for generations and is a family heirloom: a staple in the family’s heritage. Dee does…show more content…
When she is there, Dee is exposed to the high end life and develops herself into what she considers a more sophisticated person. Mama however, think she has turned into a selfish, egotistical snob who has a false representation of their true heritage. Dee insists on taking the quilts made from remnants of their grandma’s dresses, even though Mama had already promised them to Maggie. Mortified by the thought of Maggie turning them into rags by everyday use, Dee argues that the quilts need to be put on display. In her mind, Mama thinks back to the time when she had offered the quilts to her; “I didn’t want to bring up how I had offered Dee (Wangero) a quilt when she went away to college. Then she had told me they were old-fashioned, out of style” (Walker 320). After going away, Dee is more insistent on preserving her “heritage”. Dee’s ignorance has caused her to separate herself from her family and blind her from her true heritage. With big ideas came the loss of her identity and her true sense of self. Walker uses first person, to emphasis the great deal of drama the themes have brought among the torn
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