Journal Entry Question #4: “Everyday Use”
What is heritage? This is a question that begins to wander through one’s mind in Alice Walker’s Everyday Use. Although, it seems like a pretty generic answer, one sees that through this story that there are different meanings to people. Everyday Use is a story that follows a mom and her two daughters Maggie and Dee otherwise known as “Wangero.” It goes through these lives to share with the reader how people can completely abandon their past or ways of living as a child and then after growing up decide to completely praise those ways. Although, one thing still remains which is what does heritage mean to certain people and how does one preserve it.
As one begin to pictures Wangero, one might view her as a hypocrite because needless to say she goes back on her word from what it once was at the beginning of the story. She wanted nothing to do with her family nor did she ever want to bring her friends to their house to hang out (Walker 348). Although, when she comes home with the love of her life, she finally begins to appreciate what she grew up as. To me, however, it seemed a bit out of the ordinary for someone like her. For example, when she first arrived to pulled out her polaroid camera making sure to captures the precious moments of her home that she grew up in as well as her family. To the family members it seemed a bit odd, Wangero no matter what photo was being taken she made sure to include the house within the photo (Walker 349). Wangero saw heritage as not family or traditions, but as stuff. She cared about the materialistic aspect instead of the history. Wangero wanted quilts as well as other things, despite she was missing the point (Walker 353). It is not about how much stuff that you keep from your family, but its these traditions and preserving your families name. This is the way Maggie and her mom saw it as.
In contrast, Maggie and her mom felt differently towards what heritage means to them....
Bibliography: Walker, Alice. “Everyday Use.” Portable Legacies: Fiction Poetry Drama Nonfiction. Ed. Jan Zlotnik Schmidt and Lynne Crockett. 4th ed. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2009. 346-53. Web. 11 February 2013.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document