The Gift of Family
Everyday Use is a short story that teaches a value lesson of heritage, inheritance, the past, and one’s family. For some the lesson maybe perceived as an illustration to develop the natural instinct of valuing our family and our past as objects of everyday use. However, the lesson that Alice Walker conveys to her readers is to understand that the value of heritage is within the eye of the beholder. Within this paper I will explain the strategies; I think the writer uses to convey particular ideas and my opinion of what the theme of the story is. I will describe how I personally relate to the theme, and implications that I made from the story. A discussion of my impressions from reading the story the first time will be included along with whom I think the author was writing the story to and the purpose. Alice Walker uses a variety of strategies to convey particular ideas to engage the readers. She uses symbolism, foreshadowing, and uses the different elements of irony. The quilt is a concept of symbolism because it represents the inheritance of the family’s past. Dee and Maggie’s grandmother handmade the quilts, which in Dee (Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo) eyesight is a symbolic trait of heritage art. The beginning of the story illustrate Dee is a child who is into the opportunities, knowledge, and lessons life has to offer. Walker, 1973/2011, states “She was determined to stare down any disaster in her efforts” (pp. 1089). This foreshadowing later prepares the readers to understand the outcome regarding why Dee has change her identity, for the purpose of a better life than her mother and sister, and to relate and become knowledgeable of her ancestors. Within the story Walker uses irony to help the readers understand the theme of the story. It is thought to believe that Dee will go off to school in Augusta for better chances of an education, which she does, but...
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