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The Analysis of the effect of “Everyday Use”

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Want: “to fail to posses especially in customary or required amount”, or, “to have or feel need.” –Merriam Webster. There is not one human being on this Earth who does not feel compelled to want, it is simply nature, you cannot escape it. However, how you choose to act on that want is entirely up to you. In Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” we meet Mama and her two daughters, Dee and Maggie, who both want family treasures that are in Mama’s possession. Both sisters want them, but for different reasons. As we analyze “Everyday Use” we can see how effective the story is by expressing a moral code, using logic, and using a character that most readers would rebel against. The story of “Everyday Use” stresses the use of a moral code by Mama’s decision. Mama decides to give the family treasures, butter churn and two quilts, to Maggie due to the fact that Maggie’s older sister, Dee, would only use them as decoration instead of using them. Dee says “I can use the churn top as a centerpiece for the alcove table…and I’ll think of something artistic to do with the dasher.” And later on Dee begins to dig through Mama’s trunk to find two quilts that she is going to hang up instead of use. When Dee asks to have them Mama thinks it through and makes a similar decision to Laurence S. Pertillar, “To recognize the difference between wants and needs, /Is the first step in weeding away fluff stuff./And that which feeds on ego with late charges to make, /Attached to overdraft fees. /Awakening to the basicness of happiness, /Relieves one from nightmares of attempting to make ends meet.” She tells Dee no because Maggie will actually use the quilts. Mama uses basic logic to make her decision about who the quilts should go to. Mama is made up to be a homem... ... middle of paper ... ...uilts should go to. Last but not least is the use of a character that most reader rebel against, Dee. In a nut shell the story says “I don’t want whatever I want. Nobody does. Not really. What kind of fun would it be it I just got everything I ever wanted, and it didn’t mean anything?” -Neil Gaiman Works Cited Carnegie, Dale. Brainy Quote. Brainy Quote, 2013. Web. 2 Apr. 2014. . Gaiman, Neil. Farrell, Susan. "Fight vs. Flight: A re-evaluation of Dee in Alice Walker's 'Everyday Use.'" eLibrary Curriculum Edition. Proquest, May 1998. Web. 2 Apr. 2015. Good Read. Good Reads, n.d. Web. 3 Apr. 2014. . Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, 2014. Web. 2 Apr. 2014. . Pertillar, Laurence. Poem Hunter, 6 May 2012. Web. 2 Apr. 2014.
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