Everyday Use

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Marco Luna
Professor Gray
English 028
Due: March 10, 2013
Essay #2: The Central Theme of Everyday Use
There is a very interesting theme held within the pages of the story “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker. Although the story is primarily a short story, its sub-genre is realistic fiction because the situation in the story can actually happen in real life. The story revolves around the two sisters and a mother who is faced with the conflict of different views of treasuring heritage between the two sisters. They quarrel and fight over the quilts passed down through their family, be. The story theme revolves around heritage and embracing where the person comes from. The indirect characterization shows the viewer how the characters reflect the theme of the story.

The heritage serves as the main battleground of the story’s plot focus. This proves true to Dee, one of the sisters, when she changes her name to a more African name because of her negative view on the heritage of her people being enslaved. “She’s dead, Wangero said. “I couldn’t bear it any longer, being named after the people who oppress me.” (Page 112). This proves that she has a negative understanding of Dee’s heritage and insults Mama through this action. “You know as well as me you were named after your aunt Dicie,” I said” (Page 112). Also, Dee’s understanding of her heritage was literally as good as a corpse. She only wanted the quilts so she can put them on display as if they are nothing more than priceless antiques. “But they’re priceless!” she was saying now, furiously; fore she has a temper.” (Page 114). This also shows the view how little she actually cares about her true family heritage. Even though Dee (Wangero) went to such great lengths to discover and learn about her African heritage, she was still lacking the “understanding” of it.

Maggie’s view on her heritage is actually very opposite to Dee’s views on. Unlike Dee who has had an excellent education, Maggie wasn’t very well...
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