Internal Conflict In Everyday Use

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A War Inside: A Daughter’s Struggle To Escape Her Past In Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use”, one of the main characters, Dee, has a serious internal conflict with her heritage. Dee comes from a tight-knit family that has had it rough throughout all of its generations. Dee lives for fine, fancy things and her immediate family could never give her what she desired. Though her mother yearns for a healthy relationship with her, Dee looks past her mother’s wishes to reach her own goals of distancing herself from her family. Walker’s portrayal of Dee shows her to be very unhappy and at war with herself over her family issues. In this story, Dee exemplifies tremendous hatred for her heritage. She assumes a new religion, lifestyle, look, and name. Out…show more content…
Dee’s demeanor is totally different from her family’s. Dee is good looking, bold, and eccentric; whereas her mother and sister are more homely and less attractive. Her mother is a “big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands”(Walker 109). Maggie is compared by her mother to “a lame animal, perhaps a dog run over by some careless person rich enough to own a car”(Walker 109). Dee, being their opposite, despises what they are and also the fact that she is immediately related to them. Dee also has a serious hate for her childhood home. The house does not meet her standards. It has “no real windows, just some holes cut in the sides” (Walker 110). Her mother thinks,”This house is in a pasture, too, like the other one. No doubt when Dee sees it she will want to tear it down” (Walker111). When Dee arrives she has a camera and takes pictures of the house and her family as if it is a zoo or other attraction and her mother and sister are the entertainment. This reinforces the fact that she believes she is better than them. Dee’s thirst for finer things has caused her to grow her hate for her past; the fact her mother could not provide those things is what makes Dee dislike her so much. Most all of Dee’s internal conflict with her past is blamed on her immediate
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