In “Everyday Use” Alice Walker shows the hardships and conflicts of African Americans lives during the late twentieth century. The story takes place in the 1960’s, and shows of the social differences that blacks would experience during this black power movement. Many blacks in America don’t think or care about their heritage and ancestry, but some focused on connecting with past roots. Alice Walker shows through the story of the two different ways of dealing with African American pasts and heritage.
At the beginning of the story, Maggie, the narrator’s daughter, shows signs of the scars from slavery. By doing this when we are first introduced to Maggie, it shows that this is going to be a conflict through the story. First, she has scars and bruises from a fire in her previous house, “ She will stand hopelessly in the corners, homely and ashamed of the burn scars down her arms and legs”(853). I think Walker says that to show how slavery can damage someones body on the physical level. Also, her attitude shows how she is after being enslaved for a period of time: “She has been like this, chin to chest, eyes on ground, feet in shuffle, ever since that fire that burned the other house to the ground”(853).
Dee, Mama’s oldest daughter, is an educated photographer who seems lost within her heritage. She wears bright colored dresses that are inappropriate for the weather and also has changed her name to Wangero. Even though her mother accepts her when she said “ She was determined to stare down any disaster in her efforts”(854), she doesn’t accept her attitude and personality when she said “she would always look anyone in the eye”(854). This shows that blacks during this time of the movement are basically reflected by Dee. Dee showed her pride of the movement and also showed how she isn’t certain of the movement. Alot of people during this time are trying to find their inner pride and heritage, but for Dee and most other African Americans during this time it is...
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