Alice Walker's "Everyday Use

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Everyday Use

In Alice Walkers story "Everyday Use" she uses the mother to narrate the story. Through humorous comments, the mother paints a picture of what she is thinking, and allows the audience to see her as she is, and not as the world and those around her perceive her to be. Specifically the mother describes the characters appearance, and actions, as well as offers analogies, such as mothers on T.V. To support her view of reality, or how things really were, in her opinion. As the story progressed, she reveals cultural differences between Mama, Maggie and Dee. Walker also points out the importance of respecting your immediate heritage such as parents, and other family, and truly knowing and internalizing the real meaning of racial and cultural pride, from those who have gone before us.

First, the mother affectionately called Mama describes Maggie her younger daughter. Mama tells us that Maggie has burn scars on her arms and legs from a fire at their old house. She didn't actually say that Dee set the fire but she implied that she did (107). The mother describes the way Maggie walks by comparing her to a dog that has been run over by a car. The mother said, "she has always been like this, chin on chest, eyes on ground, feet in shuffle" (107). According to the mother Maggie thinks her sister has always held life in the palm of her hands (106). Mama describes herself as a large woman big boned she called herself rough, with manly working hands, taking pride in her ability to "kill and clean a hog as mercilessly as any man" (107). Mama feels Dee would want her to be

a hundred pounds lighter, with hair that glistens in the light. Mama describes Dee which changes her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo as, "lighter than Maggie, with nicer hair and a fuller figure (107) Mama thought that Dee's feet were always neat looking as if they had a style of their own (109). Mama recognizes Maggie's pain, and poor self-image. As a Mother she knows in her heart that...
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