Everyday Use By Mrs. Johnson Essay example

Everyday Use By Mrs. Johnson Essay example

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“Everyday Use”—Walker
1. Mrs. Johnson is an African American mother of two. She is more manly then feminine and day drams about being a proud parent of a child who made it like she had seen on T.V. She is poorly educated due to her school closing down after second grade. She is practical and not very witty. She is of little money, in a small inexpensive home. She is sympathetic of Maggie. She is strong and large, with man hands and big bones. She wears overalls in the day. They live in a three bedroom house with a tin roof and a pasture. They live a simple life. Mrs. Johnson can butcher an animal as good as a man, and milks cows. They make their own butter and eat home cooked meals. She has had a challenging life with her school getting shut down so early on and her being black unable to ask the whites why it was closed. She fantasizes about being thin and witty, but instead is husky and practical. She has a hard time trusting Dee who is selfish and the center of attention. Mrs. Johnson feels that Dee is coming from a place of hatred. She has a softer heart for Maggie. Maggie was burnt in a fire she speculated Dee started at their old house. Maggie was timid and shy and soft spoken. The story brings out these judgments of her daughters by the way she describes this homecoming of Dee.
2. Dee is willful, she is stylish and “made it” out of where they were from. She seems to be self-centered and full of contempt and hatred. Maggie is shy and quiet. She lives a plain and simple life and is generous and caring. Maggie was burnt in a fire as a young girl and Dee did not even try to help rescue her. Dee thinks she is better than Maggie and Maggie just accepts always coming in last place. She seems to have no con...


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...girl and a boy killed her cat in front of her. She says that if she wasn’t held back like she was she probably would have hurt him showing her empathy for Mrs. Wright. Mrs. Hale also reveals what she knows by saying “His neck. Chocked the life out of him (251)” Describing what she knew Mr. Wright did to his wives bird. She also says, “—why do you and I understand? Why do we know—what we know this minute?” This quote not only shows that they know who murdered John Wright, but also that they understood why, they knew the motive, and felt enough compassion for Minnie that they silently covered up the clues they had found. Lastly they indicate they know the method of how he died with a rope around his neck when they are asked if she was going to quilt her quilt or just knot it and they replied that she would knot it like the knot that was around Mr. Wright’s neck.

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