Everyday Use By Alice Walker

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“Everyday Use” Traditions are crucial to identities in order to preserve family values. Those values shape who we are. Without heritage and traditions, we are at risk of losing sight of who we are, and eventually those tenets will parish. In “Everyday Use,” by Alice Walker, three women internalize heritage differently; Dee doesn’t value her heritage, Maggie values her family’s heritage, and, in the end of the story, Mama realized the true embodiment and meaning of heritage. From a young age, Dee felt a detachment from her heritage, “Ten, twelve years” (Walker, 25). Dee comes to visit Mama, her old house, and her sister Maggie, who she stoically watched burn from a fire. Mama even suspects that Dee burned their house and Maggie too, “She had hated the house that much” (Walker 25). Dee agrees when Mama sent her to Augusta for school. She wants to be a college student because she considers herself superior to those around her—she deserved a higher level of life, “She was determined to stare down any disaster in her efforts. Her eyelids would not flicker for minutes at a time” (Walker...

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