A Family Feud

Topics: African American, Conflict, The Heritage Pages: 3 (858 words) Published: August 12, 2013
In Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” the internal conflict between Mama and Dee causes the external conflict of the quilt. Mama has a lot of hurdles in her lifetime but she tries and does the best she can for Dee and Maggie. Dee does not show her appreciation towards Mama and this is where it puts a struggle in their relationship. Dee shows the huge transformation she has at college and this is where the differences in her shows from her living at home to her coming back home to visit her family.

Mama’s internal conflict makes her the way she handles issues. She has to survive with what she is given and this makes her a strong individual. Mama lives a very simplistic life and has to work and earn everything that she owns. Dee does not have to earn anything because she grows up having her mother doing everything. Also Mama and the church raise money for Dee so she is able to go away to school. By the church and Mama doing this for Dee, it shows how much compassion they have that someone so poor has the opportunity to be very successful in life.

Dee’s internal conflict makes her have a disconnection with her family and the family’s ancestry. When she was young, instead of Mama reading to Dee and Maggie, Dee use to read to Mama and Maggie: She used to read to us without pity; forcing words, lies, other folks’ habits, whole lives upon us two, sitting trapped and ignorant underneath her voice. She washed us in a river of make-believe, burned us with a lot of knowledge we didn’t necessarily need to know. Pressed us to her with the serious way she read, to shove us away at just the moment, like dimwits, we seemed about to understand (364-365). This is how Mama describes Dee and her actions, which are mostly accurate. Dee has a judgmental nature that has affected both Mama and Maggie. Both of them urge for Dee’s approval on everything but Dee does not make an effort to get Mama and Maggie’s approval.

Another reason why Dee has a disconnection with her family’s...

Cited: Walker, Alice. “Everyday Use.” Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Ed. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 7th Compact ed. Boston: Pearson, 2013. 363-369. Print.
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