To begin with, each character in this story, as well as every other human on earth, is extremely different. The majority of their traits are on various points of the personality spectrum. Mama, for instance, is a very physically strong woman, and describes herself as being a “large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands” (Walker 1). She does have insecurities, however, that stem from her childhood and the limited opportunities she had growing up, compared to the new standards and chances that are available to her children, such as an education. Maggie also has much insecurity that stems from childhood, but was brought on by the trauma of being burned in a house fire. Unlike Mama, Maggie is described by Mama as being thin, homely, nervous, and with poor sight and level of intelligence. Dee, however, is radically different in comparison to her mother and sister. Dee is very bold and brave, which Mama often comments on. Mama claims, “She would always look anyone in the eye. Hesitation was no part of her nature” (Walker 1). Before she arrives, Dee is explaine...
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...ent their heritage and culture, as well as their history as a family, which, along with jealousy, is also a very important theme in this story.
In conclusion, Walker used many literary devices to enthrall the reader and teach them subtle lessons about culture and appreciating your history, as well as insight into various family dynamics due to differing personalities. Throughout “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, there are many examples explaining the qualities and mentality of each character, as well as the themes represented in the story and noticeable symbolism. Each device is used in an intelligent, methodical way in an effort to further educate the reader about the time period and issues that were prevalent. The problems presented in the story are also surprisingly relevant to current issues, notably when Walker pokes at family drama and appreciation of lineage.
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