Preview
Preview

Essay on Worth in Everyday Use

:: 3 Works Cited
Length: 964 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

A Question of Worth in Everyday Use  


   From the fashionable, expensive clothing that the character Dee in Alice Walker’s "Everyday Use" wears, the girl seems almost immediately to be a person of great value and importance. It may seem, too, at first glance, that Dee’s mother and sister, Maggie, in their tin-roof house and shabby clothing, are of little or no worth in "Everyday Use." The story ironically shows, under more careful thought, that the very outer characteristics which deem Dee the more valuable character are the ones which prove that the mother and Maggie have the more powerful inner worth.

In the beginning of the story, Dee is portrayed to be more physically valuable than her mother and Maggie. Dee’s outfit reeks of a money-based society, much different from that of her heritage. Dee wears "A dress down to the ground...There are yellows and oranges enough to throw back the light of the sun. Earrings, too, gold and hanging down to her shoulders" (Walker 1151). Dee’s mother even reflects on her oldest daughter’s full figure and nice hair(1150). The mother and Maggie, on the other hand, are given an air of simplicity and unattractiveness. The mother is described as a large, big-boned man-worker whose usual attire consists of overalls and flannel nightgowns. Maggie, referred to as a "lame animal," is thin and shabbily dressed(1150). From the vivid description of Dee and rather bland ones of the mother and Maggie, it may be readily assumed that Dee is of much higher extrinsic value than her family members.

Despite the outer attractiveness of Dee and unattractiveness of her mother and Maggie, the differences in the behavior of the groups indicate a turnaround in the presumed value judgments of the characters...


... middle of paper ...


... as well. The first glimpse of "Everyday Use" may suggest that Dee surpasses her mother and sister in value, but closer scrutiny of the work reveals that the mother and Maggie have just as much, if not more, merit than Dee.

Works Cited

Walker, Alice. "Everyday Use." The Harper Anthology of Fiction. Ed. Sylvan Barnet. New York: HarperCollins, 1991. 1149.

Baker, Houston A., Jr. and Pierce-Baker, Charlotte. Short Story Criticism. Ed. Thomas Votteler. Vol. 5. Gale Research Inc.: Detroit, MI,1990. 402.

Mickelson, Anne Z. Short Story Criticism. Ed. Thomas Votteler. Vol. 5. Gale Research Inc.: Detroit, MI, 1990. 406.

Works Consulted

Matriz, Roger, ed. Contemporary Literary Criticism. Detroit, MI: Gale Research Inc., Vol. 5, 6, 9, 19, 27. 1991.

Draper, James P., ed. Black Literature Criticism. Detroit, MI: Gale Research, Inc., Vol. 3. 1992.

 


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 Setting of Everyday Use -    In the short story, "Everyday Use", author Alice Walker uses everyday objects, which are described in the story with some detail, and the reactions of the main characters to these objects, to contrast the simple and practical with the stylish and faddish. The main characters in this story, "Mama" and Maggie on one side, Dee on the other, each have opposing views on the value and worth of the various items in their lives, and the author uses this conflict to make the point that the substance of an object, and of people, is more important than style....   [tags: Everyday Use essays] 609 words
(1.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Everyday Use by Alice Walker Essay - Everyday Use by Alice Walker In the short story Everyday Use, by Alice Walker, is narration by an African American woman in the South who is faced with the ultimate decision to whom she should give away the two quilts. Dee, her oldest daughter who is visiting from college, perceives the quilts as popular fashion and believes they should undoubtedly be given to her. Maggie, her youngest daughter, who still lives at home and understands the family heritage, has been promised the quilts. The two daughters each have opposing views on the value and worth of the different items in their lives....   [tags: Alice Walker Everyday Use Essays] 724 words
(2.1 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Importance of Heritage in "Everyday Use" Essay - In “Everyday Use ” by Alice Walker the exact setting is never revealed and therefore, can only be guessed, but it has been guessed that the story takes place on a country side in Georgia. At one point in the story Augusta is mentioned. The time is also estimated to be during the Civil Rights Movement around the year of 1973. Mrs. Johnson, along with her two daughters, reside in a small three room house, and take pride in there small yard. As Maggie and Dee grow older they start to realize how important their heritage, and family heirlooms are, Maggie in particular....   [tags: Literary Analysis ]
:: 5 Works Cited
844 words
(2.4 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
A Critique of the Effectiveness of Alice Walker’s Text Everyday Use Essay - “Walker, as an artist, tells a story in which she explores the limits of both art and the authentic. She plays with the problem by knowing that art cannot simply or purely give voice to the voiceless. . .” (Whitsitt) Everyday Use is still regarded as one of the most significant texts of Alice Walker’s writing career. It was first published in 1973 as a part of her short story collection In Love and In Trouble. The story follows the significance of cultural heritage, materialism, and the importance of having a voice....   [tags: Quilt, Characters]
:: 5 Works Cited
1057 words
(3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Conflict of Characters in Alice Walker's Everyday Use Essay - ... All throughout her short story she incorporates heritage. She describes it as a background feeling between family members, and African heritage to heirlooms that have been in the family line for generations. Dee the older sister takes her heritage for granted by only wanting her heirlooms for her educational purposes. The main conflict of the story is between Mrs. Johnson, Maggie and Dee. Dee arrives home and wants to take a picture of her dirt-poor beginnings never stopping to think how Maggie and Mrs....   [tags: uneducated, family, heritage]
:: 1 Works Cited
731 words
(2.1 pages)
Research Papers [preview]
Essay about Simplicity in Everyday Use - Leonardo Da Vinci once said, "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." If that is the case, then Maggie wins hands down over her older sister, Dee, whom, from what seems the beginning, has been her family’s ultimate representation of the externally cosmopolitan, debased, and contemporarily delusional woman "getting-in-touch-with-her-inner-self-through-learning-about-her-heritage-in-a-white-and-‘americanized’-educational-institution." And, whereas Maggie is the soft, gentle, and truly "educated" woman of their ancestors as shown through Alice Walker’s quilt motif utilized in her story, "Everyday Use." First, consider Dee, also known as “Wangero,” as she likes to call herself because she...   [tags: Alice Walker] 1082 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Everyday Use - RR: “Everyday Use” My Sister, My Enemy Often siblings are brought up in the same environment and turn out completely different. This is the case in Alice Walkers, “Everyday Use”. Although two sisters, Maggie and Dee, are raised by the same woman and in the same home, their similarities end here. Both are different in their appearance, personalities, and ideas about family heritage. Each having opposing views on value and worth of the various items in their lives. Walker uses this conflict to make the point that the use of an object and of people, is more important than style....   [tags: essays research papers] 618 words
(1.8 pages)
Better 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 on Everyday Use, Daffodils, and The Glass Menagerie - Lessons From Everyday Use, Daffodils, and The Glass Menagerie Literature plays a major role in civilization. Even societies without a written language have literature. Stories, poems and songs are pasted down orally from one generation to another. This term we have study three forms of literature; short stories, poems, and drama. The study of these three forms has affected me in different ways and I have taken different lessons out of each form. The three literary work witch had the greatest impact on me are "Everyday Use" written by Alice Walker, "Daffodils" written by William Wordsworth, and "The Glass Menagerie" written by Tennessee Williams....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays] 889 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Comparsion Of Kincaid's Girl And Walker's Everyday Use Essay - Everyone is raised within a culture with a set of customs and morals handed down by those generations before them. Most individual’s view and experience identity in different ways. During history, different ethnic groups have struggled with finding their place within society. In the mid-nineteen hundreds, African Americans faced a great deal of political and social discrimination based on the tone of their skin. After the Civil Rights Movement, many African Americans no longer wanted to be identified by their African American lifestyle, so they began to practice African culture by taking on African hairdos, African-influenced clothing, and adopting African names....   [tags: Compare Contrast Walker Kincaid] 1594 words
(4.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]