Like most peoples families there is a dynamic of people involved, although all from the same environment and teachings, it is ultimately an accumulation of personal experiences that shape us and defines how we perceive our existence. “Everyday Use” is a story of conflict of right and wrong and also family values. Walkers’ narrator, “Mama”, struggles with her disrespectful daughter ‘Dee”. Though “Mama” was quoted to have worked hard like a man to send her to school gratitude is never mentioned. “Clearly, Dee privileges language over silence, as she demonstrates in her determination to be educated and in the importance she places on her name” (Tuten). Since “Dee” had been out of the house and to school in the city she had lost touch with where she came from and had little respect for the family heritage. Maggie having been burned in a house fire had learned to love the shelter that only a family can provide. Being burned makes you like no one else, everywhere you go you feel eyes looking. Since she had not been out of the house and had the time to learn the value of family she regarded the quilts as a part of her heritage.
Presenting the story from a third person perception and having the narration by the mother or “Mama” gives the story great relevance to real life situations that ha...
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...and how we perceive ideas about what writers are trying to get across. This story is a clear representation of family values and true inheritance.
DiYanni, , Robert . Walker, Alice. “Everyday Use.” Literature: Reading Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and the Essay. 4th. New York: McGraw Hill, 1998. 408-413. Print.
Hoel , Helga. ""Personal Names and Heritage: Alice Walker’s 'Everyday Use'." 2000." . Trondheim Cathedral School, 30 January 2000. Web. 1 march 2014. Cowart, David. “Heritage and Deracination in Walker’s ‘Everyday Use.’” Studies in Short Fiction 33 (1996): 171-84.
Tate, Claudia C. "'Everyday Use' by Alice Walker." African American Review 30.2 (1996): 308+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 2 Feb. 2014.
Gruesser, John. "Walker's Everyday Use." The Explicator 61.3 (2003): 183+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 2 Feb. 2014.
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