Everyday Use by Alice Walker
Image/appearance of the narrator (Mama)
A loving mother
The unconditional love of Mama towards Dee and Maggie is shown. For example, ‘I will wait for her (Dee) in the yard that Maggie and I made so clean…’ Mama takes good care of the house in order to create a comfortable living environment for them. Also, mama saves money to send Dee to study in Augusta as to receive a better education although she is poor. Mama gives the best to her daughter.
Tough and strong
There is a long description portraying the masculine side of Mama. ‘In real life I am a big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands…I can kill and clean a hog as mercilessly as a man.’ shows Mama belongs to the labor class. Readers may guess that Mama is a single mother as her husband is mentioned once. Mama seems to bring teo daughters up by herself.
Poor and uneducated
The narrator directly divulges the education level of Mama: ‘I never had an education myself…sometimes Maggie reads to me.’ She can’t break through this poor life.
When mama asked what happen to ‘Dee’, Dee replied, ‘She’s dead’ which shows her inconsideration towards identity. Instead of blaming Dee, Mama accepts the big chances of Dee. Mama asks her about her new and complicated name: ‘How do you pronounce this name?’ I asked. ‘You don’t have to call me by it if you don’t want to.’ said Wangero ‘Why shouldn’t I?’ I asked.
The one who understand the meaning of quilts /mature
Mama explains the family tree and who is Dee’s named after in details. At las, she gives the quilts to Maggie because she knows Maggie also understand its importance and will treasure the quilts.
-> However, the dream/thought of Dee and Mama is to be brought together on a TV program reveals the distant relationship between the two and also how Mama remains a practical woman with few illusions and dream of how things are. Voice (whether she can be trusted) of the narrator
The voice of the narrator is...
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