Every Day Use, a&P

Topics: Joyce Carol Oates, Adolescence, "I Quit" match Pages: 3 (1109 words) Published: March 20, 2012
Pride Goes Before A Fall
In a bid to exemplify the notion’s statement, “pride goes before a fall,” Alice Walker, Joyce Carol Oates and John Updike draw on their main characters Dee, Connie, and Sammy in their stories “Every day Use,” “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” and “A&P” respectively. Dee, Connie and Sammy are an example of how the notion of pride is shown in various ways and how as their pride reaches its peak, they fall. Dee shows her pride in her self centered personality that causes her to lose her appreciation for her mother and her sister Maggie, and causes her to abandon her heritage and become distant. Connie, in “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” shows pride in her overconfidence that leads her to act impetuously causing her to lose her personal safety. Sammy, in “A&P” shows pride by simply quitting his job in response to what he views to be an unacceptable behavior by his boss, and wishes to grab the attention of girls that merely recognize him. The Preoccupation with pride that these characters have causes them to eventually fall. Dee’s egocentrism leads her to become unappreciative to both her family and her heritage. Dee reveals her true personality when she responds to her mother for the reason she wants to take the quilts instead of her sister in the quotation, “Hang them, she said.  As if that was the only thing you could do with quilts"(Walker 375). This quotation shows moment when Mama’s attitude changes in the story.  Before it, she was submissive to Dee and had much respect for her.  After, she realizes that Dee will never be grateful to her or even able to understand that there are other people in this world besides herself. Dee’s pride is shown in her eagerness to take the quilts that are originally for Maggie; She ignores her sister’s feelings and her mother’s will. She fakes love for her mother's old things because they are expensive, not because she enjoys the history and is proud of her heritage. The pride...
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