“Everyday Use” questions some trends in the black power movement of the 1960s and the 1970s, this is a movement that grew out of the civil rights movement in the 1960s. One of its goals was to communicate a new racial consciousness among black people. Some people sought to redefine black American identity, recognizing the importance of Africa as providing one strand of heritage. For others, this assertion of African heritage entailed a rejection of their American heritage because of white names and culture been imposed on Africans as a consequence of slavery. In “Everyday Use,” Dee changes her name, wears African clothing, and is with a man who identifies himself as "black Muslim." Muslim”. She explains to her mother, she discarded the name Dee because it is a slave name, whereas, her new name Wanger...
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...dentities. Dee (Wangero) and Hakim-a-barber are pitted against Maggie and Mama, who argued for African and the American strands of their heritage respectively. The relevance to the past is brought out by Mama’s memories. These memories are concretized by in some of the family belongings and brought to life Mama’s daily existence, which carries traditions and skills passed down the generations. Walker uses to title “Everyday Use” as a metaphor referring to quilts. These quilts are treasured and passed down from generation to generation, and they should be for everyday use instead of wall art. Using cherished items keeps the memories and past alive. To display family heirlooms seems withdrawn from one 's past and true meaning of their heritage. “Everyday Use” pertains not only to the quilts but also one’s heritage and culture and their choice of how they to honor it.
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- Everyday Use by Alice Walker Through contrasting family members and views in "Everyday Use", Alice Walker illustrates the importance of understanding our present life in relation to the traditions of our own people and culture. Using careful descriptions and attitudes, Walker demonstrates which factors contribute to the values of one's heritage and culture; she illustrates that these are represented not by the possession of objects or mere appearances, but by one's lifestyle and attitude. Throughout the story, Walker personifies the different sides of culture and heritage in the characters of Dee and the mother (the narrator).... [tags: Alice Walker Everyday Use]
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