Research Paper Final Draft
“Continuing a Tradition” Everyday Use and the Heritage of a Family. What is tradition? How do we classify tradition in this modern day? Better yet, how do we continue a tradition passed down from generation to generation through the family tree? To explore these thought provoking questions, Alice Walker’s “ Everyday Use”, Torsney and Elsley’s “Quilt Culture: Tracing the Pattern”, and “Heritage and Deracination” by David Cohort analyze the historical context of quilting in the 20th Century. I will be using excerpts from my personal narrative, various scholarly papers and Alice Walker’s works herself. I intend to provide textual evidence of what the quilt signifies and the struggles of their family during the 20th Century. This paper will help you understand how difficult it was for them to truly appreciate where their culture came from originally. My assertion is that the quilt represents heritage of the family passed down from generation to generation and African American heritage and deracination, which shows the trials and tribulations of African Americans during the 20th Century. Upset by what she feels to be oppression to her family name, Dee decides to changes her name and entire identity, and reject her heritage per say to perpetrate a person with an African heritage. Due to Dee who now is referred to as Wangero knowing nothing of African culture, religion, or heritage, everything she wants to be perceived as is false. However, the new name just like the clothes and jewelry she wears is meaningless. This is mainly because she has no true knowledge of that lifestyle. Furthermore, Wangero believes that her real heritage is dead and is something of the past with no meaning whatsoever. Shocked by all of what Wangero has done since leaving home, Mama shows signs of melancholy about the statements made by Wangero pertaining to their heritage. Mama and Maggie have a different frame of reference pertaining to heritage. They see it...
Cited: 1. David Cowart. "Heritage and deracination in Walker 's "Everyday Use". " Studies in Short Fiction 33.2 (1996): 171-184. Research Library, ProQuest. Web. 2 Dec. 2010.
2. LaFrance, Michelle. "Quilt Culture: Tracing the Pattern." Interdisciplinary Humanities 25.2 (2008): 129-134. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 2 Dec. 2010.
3. Walker, Alice. “In Love and Trouble: Stories of Black Woman, San Diego, Mariner Books, 1974
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