Everyday Use By Alice Walker Essay examples

Everyday Use By Alice Walker Essay examples

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Everyday Use Essay

In the short story “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, a relationship between a mother and daughter is destroyed due to conflicting views and insecurities. This story exemplifies the painful but honest truth in what can happen in families today. As children grow up and go off into the world, they cross paths with new people and become caught up in the never-ending whirlwind of differing opinions and a new identity within themselves. Many grow into the false realization that they have to come in touch with their culture, without first understanding where they are truly from. This story essentially comes down to a lack of connection between loved ones and their families.
The protagonist, Mama, shows two distinct traits throughout the story. She possesses a hard working demeanor and rugged features, leading to her insecurities shown throughout the story. She raised two children without the assistance of a man in her life, forcing her to take on both roles, and further transforming her into a coarse, tough, and burly woman. Mama portrays this through her own account of herself, saying “[i]n real life I am a large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands. In the winter I wear flannel nightgowns to bed and overalls during the day. I can kill and clean a hog as mercilessly as a man”(Walker 1312). It is very difficult for Mama to raise her kids on her own, but she does whatever is necessary to make sure her family doesn’t have to struggle as she did in her youth. She raised money for her eldest daughter, Dee, to go off to college and soon realizes that she becomes envious of her daughters natural beauty and new found intelligence; she had to sacrifice both in order to ensure that Dee didn’t have to suffer through ...


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...to me…”(Walker 1317). Despite the yearning for a relationship with Dee, Mama has come to the realization that her self-worth and newly developed opinions have been neglected for too long. The traits shown by Dee, which Mama was envious of became the traits of mama at the end of the story.
This story shows how important it is to love ones family. Dee is unappreciative and disrespectful to her own mother and eventually, as with nearly everything; enough is enough and Mama stood up for herself, completely transforming herself as a character. It is necessary in life to treat others the way that you would like to be treated. This seems to be a saying that Mama lived by, but her daughter didn’t reciprocate back to her. “Everyday Use” teaches the reader many lessons of the importance of a family and how easily individuals could be shaped by the world around them.

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