Strength of Mama in Alice walker's "everyday use"

Topics: Self-esteem, Everyday Use, Self Pages: 3 (965 words) Published: October 3, 2014

ENG 102



Alice Walker's _Everyday use_ is a story about a mother and her two daughters, Dee and Maggie. Mama, the narrator, of the story gives us a good description of both daughters by showing their different strengths and weakness. Dee and Maggie are as different as day and night but Mama love them both. Dee the older daughter is very beautiful, independent, confident, and educated but she is also arrogant, selfish and self centered. Maggie on the other hand, is uneducated and unattractive with burn scars on her face arm and leg leading to her having a low self esteem and being shy. Mama, an African American is a strong hard-working, independent, uneducated, and self sufficient woman who despite all these great qualities still have a low self esteem and lacks self confidence.

Mama being an independent woman, describes herself as " a large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands " ( Walker 104). Working hard in every sense of the word. She worked hard to give her daughter the chance in life that she never had. A single mother who works hard to take care of her family, and took up the responsibility as head of the family . Mama is able to work all day regardless of the weather and she " can kill and clean a hog as mercilessly as a man"(walker 104). But apart from her physical strength, she also show mental toughness. A large black woman with a heart as big as her profile and the work ethics of an ox. She had the strength of a man and could do any man's job, and she takes pride in the practical aspect of her life.

Mama when growing up, had few civil liberties as a colored person . She mentioned that " after second grade, the school was closed down"(Walker 105), and because of this she is not educated and cannot read. However her lack of education and refinement does not prevent her from having an inherent understanding of her heritage based on her love and respect for those...

Cited: Walker, Alice. "Everyday Use" _In Search of Our Mothers ' Gardens_. New York: Anchor Books, 1984
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