Analytical essay of “Everyday Use”
In her story “Everyday Use,” Alice Walker is telling the story though the eyes of Mama, who is the narrator of this story. The story begins by describing the beautiful garden, which is like an extended living room on a common day. Then Mama introduces one of her two daughters, Maggie, whose life is held away by her sister. This story tells about many different themes and issues in common daily life. One of the major themes in “Everyday Use” is contrasting ways of life and thinking. The narrator says that she has had a dream in which she is on a TV show with her daughter Dee and the host is congratulating her on raising such a fine girl as her daughter. Then the narrator moves from her description of her dream to bring reality to light. “In real life I am a large, big-boned woman with rough man-working hands” (page. 161), the narrator says, and she compares herself to a man who works so hard even to kill hogs. In contrast, her daughter wants her to be a hundred pounds lighter, skin like an uncooked barley pancake and with a witty tongue. She says “but that is a mistake” (page. 161), she wants her mother to look more white. It is clear that the narrator and her daughter Dee have the different expectations about their own mothers. The story continues Maggie comes out and asks how she looks in her pink skirt and red blouse. The narrator lets Maggie come out to the yard and compares her to a lame animal when viewing the way she walks. Maggie has her head down and her feet shuffle. As the narrator explains, there was a fire that burned her other house to the ground. The narrator tells something about the scene during the fire: Maggie stuck her arms to the Narrator sadly; Dee was standing off under the sweet gum tree to watch the house burning with a look of concentration. It is obvious that the narrator and her daughter Maggie love their house, but Dee hates it. The story continues the narrator says...
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