Essay on Everyday Use By Alice Walker

Essay on Everyday Use By Alice Walker

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“Everyday Use” is a story based in the era of racial separation between communities of diverse ethnicity. “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker merely scratches the surface of racial heritage and the elimination of previous ways of living. This discontinuation of poverty driven physical labor shines through Dee as she grows to know more of her heritage throughout her years in school. An example of this is when Dee changes her name; this is an indication of Dee/Wangero wanting to change her lifestyle after the harsh truth she is hit with while going to school. Dee learns about the struggles of African Americans during this time, which changes her view on the unforgiving reality of her family’s lifestyle. In “Everyday Use”, the author opens the mind of the reader to firmly understand the problem that was manifesting itself in society. Even though “Everyday Use” speaks on some of the problems going on in this period, it leaves a lot to be desired concerning racial separation. + THESIS
Throughout the story, racism is viewed as a potent poison that affects everyone in different ways. Momma’s view on racism is simple: she has no personal view or opinion of what is going on around her. Momma states, “Sometimes I dream a dream in which Dee and I are suddenly together on a TV program of this sort” (Walker, 315). Though Momma knows of the racism, it does not mean she influences her children to follow racial diversity. Even if she had watched the news, Momma is too fixed on her ways of living and does not want to upset the historical cycle of her heritage. Although Momma may not know of everything that is going on in society, she knows that if she were to change, it would impact the living situation and desire to know more, giving Maggie a sense of...


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...o the conclusion that you should not step out of your heritage. This could cause you to lose your path and ultimately isolate you from your family’s history. Agreeing on the aspect of higher education, this puts Dee in a strange position in the story. She is not liked because of her ignorance towards her heritage, yet she has a way about her that is compelling to the audience. In “My Dungeon Shook” it states that “The details and symbols of your life have been deliberately constructed to make you believe what white people say about you” (Baldwin, 2). This statement supports the idea that Dee/Wangero changed her name because of what white people said about blacks and their lifestyle. Though afflicted by change, Dee wants to keep something to remember her heritage; she wants to be a part of the history without participating in the actions and lifestyle of her heritage.

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