Critical Questions for Everyday Use by Alice Walker

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“Everyday Use” Critical Questions

1. The central character in this story is Mama. At the beginning of the story she seemed almost quiet and standoffish. She is a round character in this selection. Yes, Dee (Wangero) is Mama’s foil.

2. The events are told from present to past and back to present day. Yes, the plot is somewhat significant the story’s meaning.

3. Suspense served a small role in the plot. The author used flashback in this story. They keep the reader asking himself/herself what will happen next?

4. Irony was used here. In the story Dee (Wangero) hates her heritage and where she is from, yet she wants her family’s heirlooms.

5. The quilt is symbolic of their heritage. It shows that you need to live your heritage everyday and not just hang it up like a picture.

6. The setting is not specific, but it is reasonable that is in the rural south in the 1960’s. Yes, the events could take place in another time or place.

7. The mood starts out as nervousness and excitement, because Dee was coming home.

8. The story is told in first person and Mama is the narrator in the selection. Yes, she is unreliable. If it was told in a different point of view the understanding of the story would be different.

9. The meaning of the title of this story is live and use your heritage everyday and not choose which days to be true to your roots.

10. Yes, heritage. Don‘t leave your heritage behind you, it is who you are.

11. It does not affect my understanding. Conversational, unfamiliar, ornate, and ironic.
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