An analysis of a family in everyday use by alice walker

She lashes out towards Dee in the only way she can, by painting a negative picture of her to the reader and by denying her the quilt that she so desperately wants.

It is likely that if you do have something like that, it is kept in a place of honor: The opening of the story is largely involved in characterizing Mrs. Mama never went to school beyond second grade. Mama seems intent on punishing Dee and not forgiving her.

Everyday Use Themes

The opposite is actually true. Mama believes that quilts are made to be used. She does sweep in with all these changes and is demanding and overwhelms Mama.

Maggie, on the other hand, knows no world but the one she came from. When she was a child, her school was closed, and no one attempted to try to reopen it. As she leaves she encourages Maggie to get away and tells her that it is a whole new world out therea world that Dee has discovered through education and exposure.

Furthermore, Dee views her real heritage as dead, something of the past, rather than as a living, ongoing creation. Dee arrives at the family home as a strange, threatening ambassador of a new world, a world that has left Maggie and Mama behind.

Alice Walker's Everyday Use Short Story Analysis

She fails to see the family legacy of her given name and takes on a new name, Wangero, which she believes more accurately represents her African heritage. She misstates the essential facts about how the quilts were made and what fabrics were used to make them, even though she pretends to be deeply connected to this folk tradition.

The idea of practical art is deeply rooted in African customs. Dee, with her knowledge and worldliness, is a threat to the simple world Mama and Maggie inhabit, and Dee seems determined to lord her knowledge over them.

Can quilts also be more than just a cover? Dee emerges from the car with her boyfriend, Hakim-a-barber. Both education and the lack of it have proven to be dangerous for the sisters. Maggie does not want to get in the way of her sister and when Dee wants the quilt, Maggie tells Mama just to let her have it.

When Dee contends at the end of the story that Mama and Maggie do not understand their heritage, Walker intends the remark to be ironic: Dee tells her mother that she has changed her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo to protest being named after the people who have oppressed her.

Dee gets a camera from the car and takes a few pictures of Mama and Maggie in front of their house. When Dee goes to college she can barely wait to shake the dust off her feet from her poor, Georgia community.

But Mama hopes that Maggie does, indeed, designate the quilts for everyday use. But with it goes an irreplaceable piece of history. But remember, that the reader is only getting this information through Mama. The quilts are unique works of art, made from scraps but telling a story through patterns and designs that can be traced back to their African roots from a very long time ago.

Dee is not wrong that her name, that came from her grandmother, actually has its roots in slavery. Her description of herself likewise shows a familiarity and comfort with her surroundings and with herself: The conflict arises when the question of whether this unique quilt should go to Maggie who plans to use it when she gets married soon, or to Dee who says she wants to hang it up and preserve it is asked.

With lofty ideals and educational opportunity came a loss of a sense of heritage, background, and identity, which only family can provide.

Mama and Maggie watch the car drive off, then sit in the quiet of the yard until bedtime. Uneducated, she can read only haltingly. When Dee arrives, Mama grips Maggie to prevent her from running back into the house. She tells her sister that there is a new world out there for them as a people and encourages Maggie to come discover it.

So who is right? Contact Author The quilt causes the central conflict of the story but the problems run much deeper. Dee says that the priceless quilts will be destroyed. An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Well, both of them.

She desires the carved dasher and family quilts, but she sees them as artifacts of a lost time, suitable for display but not for actual, practical use. She has set herself outside her own history, rejecting her real heritage in favor of a constructed one.A summary of Themes in Alice Walker's Everyday Use.

Characterization and Symbolism in Alice Walker's

How to Write Literary Analysis; Angered by what she views as a history of oppression in her family. Conclusion In this essay we analyzed all the literary important characteristics of short story in Everyday Use by the famous American writer Alice Walker.

We gave a short biography of the author and then a historical background of the time the story was written. In the short story "Everyday Use," by Alice Walker, the characters are Mama, Dee and Maggie. Mama and Maggie have just swept the yard, awaiting a visit from Dee. Dee has been away at college.

Everyday Use study guide contains a biography of Alice Walker, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

Everyday Use study guide contains a biography of Alice Walker, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. Free Essay: The story 'Everyday Use', written by Alice Walker, is a story of heritage, pride, and learning what kind of person you really are.

In the. Everyday Use Literary Analysis Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” is a short, yet powerful story about a simple, rural family that’s changed with the return of one of the daughters.

An analysis of a family in everyday use by alice walker
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