The Importance Of Heritage In Alice Walker's Everyday Use

Topics: Family, Woman, Mother Pages: 3 (560 words) Published: September 30, 2015


“Everyday Use”
In “Everyday Use” understanding the importance of your heritage is a value that you carry with you throughout your life, suggested by “Mama.” However, Maggie and Dee have different views on how they perceive their heritage.
Mama, who is described as “a large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands” is considered as a strong and loving woman. (par 5). Mama is not your typical woman, who takes care of the house and spends time raising two daughters. Mama has taken on a less feminine and more masculine role. She prides herself on being able to kill a hog as mercilessly as a man. Mama’s heritage comes from experiences from things she has gone through and her interaction from people in her past. When she described herself...

It is black as night.” Dee appears to have taken on a more African appearance by her colorful dress that’s yellow and orange similar African attire and her hair which is described as an afro. Dee changes her name to “Wangero”, showing that she identifies herself more with Africa and forgetting her African American roots. Dee was named after her aunt, Dicie however, Dee feels that somewhere down the line in her family, Dicie was named from someone else not of an African roots. Dee asked her mother where the name Dicie came from and her mother explained from her grandmother, which suggests that the name was given by a white person. “I couldn’t bear it any longer, being named after the people who oppressed me. ”(par 27). Dee seems confused about her heritage and does not fully embrace where she comes from. She says she wants the quilts, but they are from the African American roots she seems to deny. When her mother asked what doesn’t she understand Dee replies “Your heritage” (par 80), Dee thinks that her heritage is this African persona she has embraced and her mother is confused, when...
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