Preview
Preview

Use of Theme in "Everyday Use" Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 700 words (2 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Orange      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



The theme of Everyday Use is not immediately apparent, although Alice Walker begins the story by creating a familiar setting in the comfort of home that lead to the spirit of heritage and its importance in our lives. The protagonist, a single mother of two daughters, sees herself as ."..large...rough... slow-witted" and not fitting into the social strata of her oldest daughter, Dee, who ."..has held life always in the palm of her hand." The story begins with the mother preparing the yard to be ."..more comfortable than most people know....like an extended living room" for Dee's homecoming. This line early in the story also shows the mother placing a high value on comfort.

The mother describes her younger daughter, Maggie, as ."..not bright. Like good looks and money, quickness passed her by," and ."..perhaps a dog run over by some careless person rich enough to own a car, sidle up to someone who is ignorant enough to be kind to him...That's the way my Maggie walks." The reader already feels the older daughter Dee, although ."..stylish...with nicer hair and a fuller figure...and full of knowledge" is more like the careless person rich enough to own a car. Although Maggie and her mother make attempts to improve the appearance of themselves and their home for Dee's arrival and seem eager to see her, having no relation to Dee the reader is given no reason to like her. Already Walker is placing value on "slow, self-conscious," Maggie, who plans on marrying and staying close to home, and casting, Dee, who is attractive and cosmopolitan, and could conceivably bring greater resources to her sister and mother, in a negative light.

When Dee arrives home with her new husband (in their car) "in a dress so loud it hurts my ...


... middle of paper ...


...ran down to the soles of my feet. Just like when I'm in church and the spirit of God touches me and I get happy and shout." Indicating the mother's sense of God's pleasure with her new way of thinking. She takes the quilts from Wangero and gives them to Maggie. Wangero prepares to leave with her husband and tells Maggie and her mother "You just don't understand...your heritage," which is ironic because it is a heritage Wangero wants to eliminate in all ways that do not serve her immediate purpose. This mother clung to her heritage, preserving it for the daughter who appreciated the history, and at the risk of alienating the other daughter. Maggie and her mother "watched the car dust settle" as Dee sped off. Then ."..the two of us sat there just enjoying, until it was time to go in the house and go to bed." It would be fitting if they were wrapped in a quilt.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Essay on The Theme of Heritage in "Everyday Use" - Readers of Alice Walker's, "Everyday Use", discusses how the narrator realizes that Maggie understands her own heritage. What does the narrator mean when she says, "Just like when I'm in church and the spirit of God touches me and I get happy and shout?" Does the narrator do something amazing that she has not done before. Some readers opine that the narrator knows what it really feels like to have family. Others say that the narrator recognizes the importance of giving. However, both these readings are not with the point....   [tags: American Literature] 543 words
(1.6 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Essay about Theme of Heritage in Everyday Use - Everyday Use In the short story "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker, two sisters portray their contrasting family views on what they perceive to be heritage. The idea that a quilt is a part of a family's history is what the narrator is trying to point out. They aren't just parts of cloth put together to make a blanket. The quilt represents their ancestors' lives and tells a story with each individual stitch. "They had been pieced my Grandma Dee and Big Dee and me and hung them on the quilt frames on the front porch and quilted them....   [tags: Alice Walker] 924 words
(2.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Theme of Heritage in Walker's Everyday Use - "Growing up in Different Eras of time and disparities between the quality of education affect peoples’ perception of heritage." "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker was an inspiring story of family and heritage. Simplicity against complexity. The old ways and the new ways. It was about people fighting for change and other people who were content with the way things were. The story takes place in the 60’s or 70’s and is written in the first person from the mother’s perspective....   [tags: Alice Walker] 1499 words
(4.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay about Everyday Use By Alice Walker - Everyday Use By Alice Walker In Alice Walker's short story "Everyday Use" Mama is the narrator. She speaks of her family of two daughters Maggie and Dee. Through the eyes of two daughters, Dee and Maggie, who have chosen to live their lives in very different manners, the reader can choose which character to identify most with by judging what is really important in one’s life. Throughout the story three themes consistently show. These themes show that the family is separated by shame, knowledge, and pride....   [tags: Alice Walker Everyday Use Essays]
:: 2 Works Cited
1119 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Symbolism in Alice Walker's Everyday Use Essay - Symbolism in Alice Walker's Everyday Use History in the Making Heritage is something that comes to or belongs to one by reason of birth. This may be the way it is defined in the dictionary, but everyone has their own beliefs and ideas of what shapes their heritage. In the story “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, these different views are very evident by the way Dee (Wangero) and Mrs. Johnson (Mama) see the world and the discrepancy of who will inherit the family’s quilts. Symbolism such as certain objects, their front yard, and the different characters, are all used to represent the main theme that heritage is something to always be proud of....   [tags: Alice Walker Everyday Use] 1557 words
(4.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Poverty in Everyday Use, Sonny's Blues, and The Cathedral Essay - Poverty in Everyday Use, Sonny's Blues, and The Cathedral Works Cited Not Included Comparing ?Everyday Use?, ?Sonny?s Blues. and ?The Cathedral?, one can conclude that they share a common meaning. Although all three stories consider poverty as their theme, each chooses to elaborate it in a different manner. In fact, ?Everyday Use. emphasizes on the state of extreme poverty in which certain people live. On the other hand, ?Sonny?s Blues. contributes to the theme by describing the poverty of spirit of Harlem?s ?inner kids?....   [tags: Papers Everyday Sonny's Cathedral Essays] 874 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on The Themes and Narration Techniques of Everyday Use by Alice Walker - The Themes and Narration Techniques of "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker "Everyday Use," by Alice Walker, was first published in 1973. The story opens as Maggie and her mother, a black farm woman, await a visit from Maggie's older sister, Dee, and a man who may be her husband--her mother is not sure whether they are actually married. Dee, who was always scornful of her family's way of life, has gone to college and now seems almost as distant as a film star. Maggie, who is not bright and who bears severe burn scars from a house fire many years before, is even more intimidated by her glamorous sibling....   [tags: Alice Walker's Everyday Use] 962 words
(2.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Point of View in Alice Walker's Everyday Use - Point of View in Alice Walker's Everyday Use Alice Walker is making a statement about the popularization of black culture in "Everyday Use". The story involves characters from both sides of the African American cultural spectrum, conveniently cast as sisters in the story. Dee/Wangero represents the "new black," with her natural hairdo and brightly colored clothing. Maggie remains traditional: the unchanged, unaffected bystander. Nowhere in the dialogue do Walker's characters directly mention their feelings about the Americanization of African tradition....   [tags: Alice Walker Everyday Use] 1143 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Defining African-American Heritage in Everyday Use by Alice Walker Essay - In “,Everyday Use,”, Alice Walker tells a story of a mother’,s problematic relationship with her two daughters. At this side, “,Everyday Use”, tells that how a mother little by little refuses the cursory values of her older, successful daughter at the aspect of the practical values of her younger, less fortunate daughter. On a deeper side, Alice Walker looks for the concept of heritage and its norms as it applies to African-Americans. “,Everyday Use”, is set in the late ‘,60s or early ‘,70s. This was a time when African-Americans struggled to define their personal identities and values in their cultural terms....   [tags: Everyday Use Essays] 2907 words
(8.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about everyday use - Through contrasting the family members and views in “Everyday Use”, Alice Walker illustrates the importance of understanding African American traditions of their own culture. Using careful descriptions and attitudes, Walker demonstrates which factors contribute to the values of one’s heritage and culture; she illustrates that these are represented not by the possession of objects, but by one’s lifestyle and attitude. In this paper I will explain the theme of the story “Everyday Use In “Every Day Use” Walker shows the different sides of culture and heritage in the characters of Dee and the mother....   [tags: essays research papers] 552 words
(1.6 pages)
Good Essays [preview]