An Analysis of Alice Walker's "everyday Use"

analytical Essay
924 words
924 words

An Analysis of Alice Walker's "Everyday Use"
Alice Walker's novel, The Color Purple, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1982. This novel, in addition to her short story collections and other novels, continue to touch the emotions of a vast audience. This ability, according to critics, has "solidified her reputation as one of the major figures in contemporary literature" (Gwynn 462). Born to sharecroppers in Eatonton, Georgia, in 1944, Alice Walker's life was not always easy. Her parents strived to provide a home at a time when political and social unrest were at their highest. According to critic Barbara Christian, "[T]hat oppression fosters a sustaining spirit that appears in Walker's writing"
(Kimmich). Walker attended Spelman University in Atlanta, where she first became active in civil rights. She went on to graduate from Sarah Lawrence College. Her own experiences, including being blinded in one eye as a child and having an abortion as a young woman, may have contributed to her ability to convey the feelings and thoughts of her characters to her audience. Many of Alice Walker's characters portray strong independent black women, but she also stresses the importance of the ties between family and other women (Kimmich). In the short story, "Everyday Use," this theme is evident by the independent nature of all three women and also by the strong tie that the mother feels for her both of her daughters.
"Everyday Use" is something that most people use to signify the common ordinary things we use on a daily basis. The author, by using this title, brings important significance to these items. The author may be trying to convey to the reader that our daily lives and the things we use every day are more important in learning who ...

... middle of paper ... The narrator gives the reader the impression that Dee is the villain and Maggie, the underdog. When Maggie comes out on top, it stirs something in the reader that makes them glad it came out that way.
Works Cited
Gwynn, R. S. ed. Literature: A Pocket Anthology. New York: Longman, 2002. 462-470.
Kimmich, Allison."Alice Walker, Overview." Feminist Writers (1996). Literature Resource Center. 2003. GaleNet. Nicholls State University Library, Thibodaux, Louisiana.
12 Feb. 2004. http// 3&OP= contains&locID= lln_ansu&srchtp=athr&ca=2&c=27&ste=16&stab=512&tab= 2&tbst=arp&ai=91747&n=10&docNum=H1420008353&ST=Alice+Walker&bConts=278447.
Walker, Alice. "Everyday Use." Literature: A Pocket Anthology. Ed. R. S. Gwynn. New York: Longman, 2002. 462-470.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the mother, who is also the narrator, is a strong independent woman. she is proud of what dee has accomplished, although she doesn't understand her.
  • Analyzes kimmich, allison's "alice walker, overview." feminist writers.
  • Describes walker, alice, and r. s. gwynn's "everyday use." literature: a pocket anthology.
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