My Account
Preview
Preview

Essay about Point of View in Alice Walker's Everyday Use

No Works Cited
Length: 1143 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Point of View in Alice Walker's Everyday Use

Alice Walker is making a statement about the popularization of black
culture in "Everyday Use". The story involves characters from both sides of the
African American cultural spectrum, conveniently cast as sisters in
the story. Dee/Wangero represents the "new black," with her natural
hairdo and brightly colored clothing. Maggie remains traditional: the
unchanged, unaffected bystander. Nowhere in the dialogue do Walker's
characters directly mention their feelings about the Americanization
of African tradition. But Walker somehow gets the reader to believe
this popularization itself can actually turn into a form of exploitation.
By telling the story from the mother's point of view, Walker's representation
of Wangero is seeped in irony, and therefore Wangero's love of her African
heritage becomes an exploitation of it.

Because the mother is so closely related to the characters in the
story, her perception of them is biased. Walker uses this point of
view to her advantage, because while the reader is familiar with
Wangero's somewhat stereotypical "blacksploitive" personality, this
aspect of her personality remains completely foreign to her mother,
the narrator, who describes it with an innocent wonder. In the
beginning of the story the mother speaks of Wangero's actions in the
past. Even then she displayed an arrogance that isolated her mother
and younger sister, but the mother was too busy being proud of her
daughter's achievements to notice. She says, "At sixteen [Dee] had a
style of her own, and she knew what style was. She used to read to
us, without pity. [We sat] trapped and ignorant underneath her voice."
The mothe...


... middle of paper ...


...ng her mother more ashamed of her dark skin, her culture. The
mother describes her ideal skin shade as the color of an uncooked
barley pancake, a food that is perhaps tan at best. Once again, the
mother continues on about the dream without realizing the weight of
what she is saying. It is the reader's -- and Walker's --
responsibility to understand the real theme imbedded in the story.

In the same way that the reader dislikes Wangero in "Everyday Use,"
so Alice Walker seems to dislike the type of black American who uses
his or her cultural identity as a status symbol. It is not a hatred
that Walker displays in her story, but rather a playful poking-fun-of,
which wouldn't have been possible had "Everyday Use" not been told
from the perspective of the mother. This is exactly how the point of
view affected the theme of "Everyday Use".


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Point of View in Everyday Use by Alice Walker Essay - Point of View in "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker Point of view is described as the perspective from which a story is told (Literature, G25). In the story "Everyday Use" the point of view is that of first person narrator or major character. The story is told by the mother in the story. The theme of this story is that of a mother who is trying to cope with changing times and two daughters who are completely different. Having the story told from momma's point of view helps to reveal how momma feels about herself and how she defines her daughters Dee and Maggie....   [tags: American Literature] 559 words
(1.6 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay on The Themes and Narration Techniques of Everyday Use by Alice Walker - The Themes and Narration Techniques of "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker "Everyday Use," by Alice Walker, was first published in 1973. The story opens as Maggie and her mother, a black farm woman, await a visit from Maggie's older sister, Dee, and a man who may be her husband--her mother is not sure whether they are actually married. Dee, who was always scornful of her family's way of life, has gone to college and now seems almost as distant as a film star. Maggie, who is not bright and who bears severe burn scars from a house fire many years before, is even more intimidated by her glamorous sibling....   [tags: Alice Walker's Everyday Use] 962 words
(2.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay Everyday Use by Alice Walker - Everyday Use by Alice Walker Through contrasting family members and views in "Everyday Use", Alice Walker illustrates the importance of understanding our present life in relation to the traditions of our own people and culture. Using careful descriptions and attitudes, Walker demonstrates which factors contribute to the values of one's heritage and culture; she illustrates that these are represented not by the possession of objects or mere appearances, but by one's lifestyle and attitude. Throughout the story, Walker personifies the different sides of culture and heritage in the characters of Dee and the mother (the narrator)....   [tags: Alice Walker Everyday Use]
:: 1 Works Cited
964 words
(2.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
A Psychological Analysis of Alice Walker's Everyday Use Essay - A Psychological Analysis of Alice Walker's Everyday Use      The human mind is divided into three parts that make up the mind as a whole. These parts are necessary to have a complete mind, just as the members of a family are needed to make up the entire family. The use of components to equal a whole is often exercised in literature. Alice Walker's short story, "Everyday Use," contains the idea of family and of the mind, therefore her work can be evaluated through psychological methods. Through their actions, the characters symbolize the three different parts of the mind: the id, the ego, and the superego....   [tags: Everyday Use essays Alice Walker ]
:: 7 Works Cited
890 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Symbolic Analysis of Alice Walker's Everyday Use Essay - Symbolic Analysis of Alice Walker's Everyday Use Alice Walker?s ?Everyday Uses (For Your Grandmother). is a story about a woman?s struggle with the past and her inability and unwillingness to accept the future. The three main characters in the story are Dee, her younger sister Maggie, and their mother. The story is narrated by the mother in an almost reminiscent manner, and it is on her that the focus of the story centers. Her eldest daughter, Dee, is the first in her family to embrace modernization and to attempt to improve her way of life....   [tags: Alice Walker Everyday Use Essays] 1688 words
(4.8 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
“Everyday Use” by Alice Walker Essay - In its simplest form, a child is a product of a man and a woman but Alice Walker one of the foremost authors during the twentieth century, adds depth to her black American women by focusing on the role that race and gender played in their development. Family reunions can be times of great anticipation, excitement and happiness but for Dee, a young, beautiful, African American and our leading character, it was a reunion with underlying, unspoken tensions. Dee was Dee but Dee had changed; a new husband, nice clothes, and a college degree to boat....   [tags: Literary Analysis]
:: 2 Works Cited
1296 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Adopted Heritage in Alice Walker's Everyday Use Essays -        Each of us is raised within a culture, a set of traditions handed down by those before us. As individuals, we view and experience common heritage in subtly differing ways. Within smaller communities and families, deeply felt traditions serve to enrich this common heritage. Alice Walker's "Everyday Use" explores how, in her eagerness to claim an ancient heritage, a woman may deny herself the substantive personal experience of familial traditions.             Narrated by the mother of two daughters, the story opens with an examination of one daughter's favoring of appearances over substance, and the effect this has on her relatives....   [tags: Everyday Use Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1707 words
(4.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Everyday Use by Alice Walker Essay - Everyday Use by Alice Walker In "Everyday Use," Alice Walker stresses the importance of heritage. She employs various ways to reveal many aspects of heritage that are otherwise hard to be noticed. In the story, she introduces two sisters with almost opposite personalities and different views on heritage: Maggie and Dee. She uses the contrast between the two sisters to show how one should accept and preserve one's heritage. Beyond the contrast between two sisters there exist the judge figure mom, the narrator and the Dee's irony....   [tags: Papers] 697 words
(2 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Family Heritage In Everyday Use Essay - Family Heritage In Everyday Use In Alice Walker's "Everyday Use," the message about the preservation of heritage, specifically African-American heritage, is very clear. It is obvious that Walker believes that a person's heritage should be a living, dynamic part of the culture from which it arose and not a frozen timepiece only to be observed from a distance. There are two main approaches to heritage preservation depicted by the characters in this story. The narrator, a middle-aged African-American woman, and her youngest daughter Maggie, are in agreement with Walker....   [tags: Everyday Use Alice Walker Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1197 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Everyday Use by Alice Walker Essay - Everyday Use by Alice Walker Heritage is an important factor to every developing family. Heritage helps to develop a person's values showing what they believe in. Particularly about the values of their family. In the story Everyday Use, by Alice Walker, value of heritage is a main topic. Throughout this story there are many different words used to describe what Wangero (Dee), Maggie, and their mother value. These choices of words all play an important role in the contrasting values of these people and the battle over heritage....   [tags: Family Heritage Literature Essays] 872 words
(2.5 pages)
Good Essays [preview]