Alice Malsenior Walker is an African American writer and civil rights activist. She was born in Eatonton, Georgia in 1944. Alice Walker is the eighth and youngest child of her parents, Minnie Grant and Willie Walker. Her parents were sharecroppers. After a childhood accident blinded her in one eye she became a shy and withdrawn child. Walker ended up being the valedictorian of her high school. She attended Spelman College, in Atlanta, a school for black women. Alice transferred to Sarah Lawrence College in New York. Alice received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College in 1965.
The story we read "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker fits into many aspects of her life. The character Maggie is a good example. Maggie was burnt in a house fire as a child and left with scars on her arms and legs. Alice was blinded in one eye after an accident with a BB gun. Both girls were left feeling shy and withdrawn from the surrounding world after their accidents. Maggie's mother was a farmer. Alice's parents were sharecroppers. Maggie understood her heritage and what it meant. Alice Walker is a civil rights activist sticking up for her heritage everyday.
Alice Walker incorporates her life into this story. Even though Maggie only had one sister and Alice was one of eight, they both were the youngest and easily overlooked. She placed her own experiences into Maggie's life. Walker is an author who puts herself into her work. Alice's experience in life is what she knows; therefore, the writing techniques used reflects familiar subjects. The character Maggie represents what kind of person Alice is and her point of view in life.
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