Alice Walker's Everyday Use Essay

Alice Walker's Everyday Use Essay

Length: 1160 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Heritage is something that people see in various ways. When many people think of heritage they think of past generation and where their family comes from. Other people place their heritage on the value of things, such as old quits that are made from something sentimental. In Everyday Use this is exactly how Maggie thinks of heritage. She wants the quits that were handmade out of her grandma’s dresses because to her that is a sign of her heritage. Alice Walker’s story is based on heritage. The narrator of the story has two daughters who could not be more different. One daughter, Dee, is beautiful and cares a lot about finding her place in the world, and about fashion. Maggie on the other hand is very practical. She does not see any reason for fashion and is okay with her placement in this world. This is because she is like her mother. Her mother is someone who has had to work very hard to provide for her daughters. She prefers the hard work and takes pride in what she is able to do. When Maggie comes back to visit she brings her abnormal husband with her. She has changed her name and all of a sudden cares a lot about her heritage. She keeps asking to take things that she knows have been in the family for a while. Her mom is okay with this until she tries to take the quilts that she has already offered to Maggie as a wedding present. This is the last straw for her mom and she tells Dee no, which causes Dee to get angry because she knows that Maggie will actually use the blankets and they will fall apart in a few years. Dee leaves angry and then Maggie and her mom move on with their lives. This is a very effective story because they story shows two very different views, creates entertaining characters, and contains a powerful message...


... middle of paper ...


...alker’s story is that education sets people apart, sort of like a caste system. For Maggie and her mom it was okay to continue life the same as it had always been because they didn’t know, or know of anything different. For Dee the simple life that her family lived seemed sad and simple because she had experienced and learned about many new and different things.



Works Cited

Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. N.p.: Tribeca Books, 2014. Print.
Briggs, Patricia. Alpha and Omega, Book 1. N.p.: Ace, 2008. Print.
Lewis, C.S. The Complete C. S. Lewis Signature Classics. N.p.: Harper Collins, 2007. Print.
Trungpa, Chogyam. Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism. N.p.: Shambhala, 2002. Print.
Velazquez, Juan R. "Characterization and Symbolism in Alice Walker's 'Everyday Use.'" Lone Star College System. Lone Star, n.d. Web. 3 Apr. 2014. .

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

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]

Term Papers
964 words (2.8 pages)

Everyday Use by Alice Walker Essay

- In "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker, Walker shows differences in human character, just by the way they act towards family members. The main character in the story, Mother, has two daughters that she treats very differently, and they treat her differently. One daughter looks down on Mother in a condescending manner, and the other is obedient and kind. In "Everyday Use", Walker shows that in relationships between a mother and daughters, adaptation to change can sometimes be very hard, which leads to pride and protecting what one has accomplished, and finally shows how un-appreciation can hinder these relationships....   [tags: Alice Walker Everyday Use]

Term Papers
952 words (2.7 pages)

Alice Walker's Everyday Use Essay

- In every family there seems to be a child that is bestowed with all of the positive aspects of her parents. Unfortunately, for every perfect child there is, it seems that there is one child that is less talented and less beautiful. In the short story, "Everyday Use", these two character descriptions fit perfectly in relation to the characters of Dee and Maggie. Dee is the gifted and beautiful child, whereas Maggie seems to have been left behind by the gene pool and luck. In her short story, "Everyday Use", Alice Walker utilizes language, the tragedy of the fire burning down Maggie's family's house, and her portrayal of Dee to pain an extremely sympathetic portrait of Maggie....   [tags: Everyday Use Alice Walker]

Term Papers
1207 words (3.4 pages)

Essay about Everyday Use by Alice Walker

- Everyday Use by Alice Walker “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, is a story of a black family composed of a mother and her two daughters: Maggie and Dee. Walker does an excellent job illustrating her characters. There are all types of characters in this short story from round to static. Dee is a flat character, yet Walker uses Dee’s character to warn people of what might happen if they do not live properly. Walker describes Dee’s character as arrogant and selfish, and through Dee’s character one is allowed to perceive the wicked effect of an egotistical world....   [tags: Alice Walker Everyday Use Essays]

Term Papers
712 words (2 pages)

Everyday Use by Alice Walker Essay

- Everyday Use by Alice Walker In the short story Everyday Use, by Alice Walker, is narration by an African American woman in the South who is faced with the ultimate decision to whom she should give away the two quilts. Dee, her oldest daughter who is visiting from college, perceives the quilts as popular fashion and believes they should undoubtedly be given to her. Maggie, her youngest daughter, who still lives at home and understands the family heritage, has been promised the quilts. The two daughters each have opposing views on the value and worth of the different items in their lives....   [tags: Alice Walker Everyday Use Essays]

Term Papers
724 words (2.1 pages)

Essay about Everyday Use By Alice Walker

- Everyday Use By Alice Walker In Alice Walker's short story "Everyday Use" Mama is the narrator. She speaks of her family of two daughters Maggie and Dee. Through the eyes of two daughters, Dee and Maggie, who have chosen to live their lives in very different manners, the reader can choose which character to identify most with by judging what is really important in one’s life. Throughout the story three themes consistently show. These themes show that the family is separated by shame, knowledge, and pride....   [tags: Alice Walker Everyday Use Essays]

Term Papers
1119 words (3.2 pages)

Symbolism in Alice Walker's Everyday Use Essay

- Symbolism in Alice Walker's Everyday Use History in the Making Heritage is something that comes to or belongs to one by reason of birth. This may be the way it is defined in the dictionary, but everyone has their own beliefs and ideas of what shapes their heritage. In the story “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, these different views are very evident by the way Dee (Wangero) and Mrs. Johnson (Mama) see the world and the discrepancy of who will inherit the family’s quilts. Symbolism such as certain objects, their front yard, and the different characters, are all used to represent the main theme that heritage is something to always be proud of....   [tags: Alice Walker Everyday Use]

Term Papers
1557 words (4.4 pages)

Alice Walker's Everyday Use Essay examples

- Alice Walker's "Everyday Use" In the short story “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, the author portrays opposing ideas about one’s heritage. Through the eyes of two daughters, Dee and Maggie, who have chosen to live their lives in very different manners, the reader can choose which character to identify most with by judging what is really important in one’s life. In Dee’s case, she goes out to make all that can of herself while leaving her past behind, in comparison to Maggie, who stays back with her roots and makes the most out of the surroundings that she has been placed in....   [tags: Alice Walker Everyday Use Essays]

Term Papers
1644 words (4.7 pages)

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]

Term Papers
962 words (2.7 pages)

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

- 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....   [tags: Alice Walker Everyday Use]

Term Papers
1143 words (3.3 pages)