Emotions In Alice Walker's Everyday Use
Topics: Family, Black people, Daughter, Black Power, Cultural heritage / Pages: 4 (895 words) / Published: Jan 24th, 2017

1. Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” is narrated by one of the story’s main characters, the mother of two very different daughters who are Dee and Maggie. The mother comes off as a trustworthy narrator. Undoubtedly, she does seem to have some hard feelings toward Dee, but these feelings seem understandable in light of the past and present events she describes. Nothing in the story submits that the mother is so full of dislike for Dee that she tells lies about her attractive daughter. The mother feels sympathy toward Maggie, her less gifted, less attractive, less sophisticated, and less educated daughter. Her sympathy for Maggie grows as the story develops, just as her distrust and dislike of Maggie also become more obvious as the tale approaches …show more content…
The overall theme in this story revolves around the idea of someone's natural heritage. Dee chooses to be called by Wangeroo. Upon being asked what happened to her old name by Momma, Wangaroo says, "She's dead...I couldn't bear it any longer, being named after the people who oppress me". Dee (or Wangaroo) believes that because she is black she must change her name to something more orthodox in order to save her heritage. She chooses a more "African" costume also because she is attempting to display her heritage. Hakim seems awkward towards Dee’s family. The way he greets Maggie is uncooperative and pushes her away which causes her to become shy. It seems that he feels more educated and better than Dee’s family because he can parade his heritage and where he came from better than they can. Although the topic of this short story is heritage, Dee/Wangaroo does not really recognize her own heritage. In attempt of trying to stand out and show where she is from, she has actually lost her own roots and background in where she really came …show more content…
Momma shares a story about the disagreeing ideas of her two daughters Dee and Maggie. Dee and Maggie have disagreeing ideas about their identities and ancestry. In this story, Momma lives in the Southern setting of a hard-working woman. Her "man-working" hands symbolize the rough life she has had to forge from the land on which they live. The rural Southern setting represents the home of a strong black woman who grew up knowing how to work hard. The homemade quilts are a significant part of the background. In reference to the quilts, Dee sees the family objects which are the most significant part of the background as objects to be hung on the wall. Maggie desires to use the quilts that were made by family members who have kept the traditions alive for the family. Dee does not appreciate being named after the family member who made the quilts so she then changes her name to an African name. Dee is caught up in an African heritage that does not fully represent who she

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