Everyday Use By Alice Walker Essay

Everyday Use By Alice Walker Essay

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Most people want their family to be a source of love and care; however, conflicts can occur when one family member has different values from the rest. Throughout Alice Walker’s short story “Everyday Use," she shows how education affects family dynamics. Alice Walker describes Dee as having hatred towards her family and their values even before being educated. Education has not only, separated Dee from a true sense of herself, but she also lose a sense of heritage and background values that can only be taught by one 's family. Education proved to be more divisive than beneficial to Dee’s relationship to her family. Although Mama struggled, and had only obtained a second-grade education, she still found it important to send Dee off to college, despite Dee straying from the highly regarded core values laid down by their ancestors. Due to obtaining a higher education, Dee’s views on her heritage differ drastically from that of her mother.
“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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