Culture in Alice Walker’s Story, Everyday Use Essay

Culture in Alice Walker’s Story, Everyday Use Essay

Length: 1992 words (5.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

The courage to be expressive and unique in your own ways without being influenced by the criticisms of the external environment and society is not very easy to do. This is because you’re in an environment that has established their own culture for you to adhere to and for you to stand out and distance yourself and follow what you believe, is very hard and difficult and it also takes a great deal of courage to do so. This is an issue that is present in Alice Walker “Everyday Use.” Dee and Maggie conflict stems from different ways of seeing their culture.
I would like to research on the concept of culture in relation to Alice Walker’s story, “Everyday Use”, because I want to find out how culture is expressed in Walker’s story and how she defines culture. Moreover, this story that I have chosen will help me to give my reader a better understanding of culture and how refining culture is in all parts of the world.
As means of understanding the concept of culture, we must first know what culture is and its components because culture is a broad subject which is defined in different ways. Culture is expressed in so many ways, some of these are our gestures, our beliefs that we abide by and our custom. In the field of the social sciences, culture is a broad subject that is explained something that is primarily in your life, meaning it is what you’re made of from the beginning. According to the search engine Bing, “Culture is the shared beliefs and values of a group; the beliefs, customs, practices, and social behavior of a particular nation or people.
This implies that culture is considered a virtue that is obtained from a group of people through sharing and also considered, a custom that people follow within a society. Moreover, culture ...


... middle of paper ...


...Mannon, 10 Aug. 2011. Web. 13 May 2014. .
O'Neil, Dennis. "Human Culture: What is Culture?." Human Culture: What is Culture?. Dennis O'Neil, 6 May 2006. Web. 17 Apr. 2014. .
Reliable Prosperity. "Reliable Prosperity: Cultural Preservation." Reliable Prosperity. Reliable Prosperity, 3 July 2006. Web. 17 May 2014. .
Velazquez, Juan. "Characterization and Symbolism in Alice Walker's "Everyday Use"." Characterization and Symbolism in Alice Walker's "Everyday Use". Lone Star College Systems, 21 Apr. 2013. Web. 20 May 2014. .

Walker, Alice. “Everyday Use.” Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Ed. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 8th ed. New York: Longman, 2002. 88-95. Print.


Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Culture in Alice Walker’s Short Story "Everyday Use" Essay

- Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” is a thought provoking short story that teaches the importance of preserving heritage. The story surrounds an argument between a southern traditional mother (Mrs. Johnson) and her eldest daughter (Dee/Wangero), over Dee’s lack of respect, knowledge and selfish behavior regarding her family’s heritage. Mrs. Johnson has two daughters (Maggie and Dee) who have two completely different views of the world and different lifestyles. In the story two quilts are used to symbolize the importance of the family’s culture....   [tags: Heritage, Quilts]

Term Papers
619 words (1.8 pages)

Everyday Use by Alice Walker: How to Appreciate One’s Culture Essay

- ... The mother explains, “I could have carried it back before the Civil Way through the branches” (464) Dee could not understand the cultural significance of her name, the very same name that came from her loved ones and not by her oppressors. She fails to appreciate the cultural significance of the name Dee. Dee wants to appreciate her family quilts by framing them in her home, but Maggie would most likely put them to everyday use and have them in order to remember her Grandmother Dee. Everything Wangero (Dee) wants is for her home décor and she never tries to understand the sentimental value of the items....   [tags: family, dee, maggie]

Term Papers
646 words (1.8 pages)

Everyday Use by Alice Walker Essay

- Everyday Use by Alice Walker In the story 'Everyday Use', by Alice Walker, the value of ones culture and heritage are defined as a part of life that should not be looked upon as history but as a living existence of the past. Walker writes of the conflict between two Black cultures. Dee and Maggie are sisters whom do not share the same ideals. Mama is torn between two children with different perspectives of what life truly means. In the story, Walker describes the trial and tribulations of one daughter whose whole life is tormented by fear, failure and weakness; while the other "has held life always in the palm of one hand"(61) and moves to a better lifestyle....   [tags: Every Day Use Alice Walker]

Term Papers
640 words (1.8 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)

Heritage in Everyday Use, by Alice Walker Essay

- Heritage is one of the most important factors that represents where a person came from. In “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, this short story characterizes not only the symbolism of heritage, but also separates the difference between what heritage really means and what it may be portrayed as. Throughout the story, it reveals an African-American family living in small home and struggling financially. Dee is a well-educated woman who struggles to understand her family's heritage because she is embarrassed of her mother and sister, Mama and Maggie....   [tags: everyday use, alice walker]

Term Papers
1063 words (3 pages)

The Journey to Find Yourself in Everyday Use by Alice Walker Essay

- Throughout life, one has many idea’s about self identity, culture, and heritage. People are always discovering new things about themselves and how their culture and heritage helps to cultivate their identity. In “Everyday Use”, Alice Walkers shows the development of Dee’s idea of her own culture, heritage, and identity by examining Dee’s teenage years, young adulthood, and Dee’s journey to a more mature, developed and certain sense of self. In the beginning of “Everyday Use”, Alice Walker shows the hatred and animosity that Dee feels in her teenage years through her hostility to her family’s abode, yearning need for nice things....   [tags: culture, hatred, family]

Term Papers
1290 words (3.7 pages)

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)

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)

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)

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)