Everyday Use By Alice Walker Analysis

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in her short story, “Everyday Use”, Alice walker tells the story of a mother and her two daughters’ conflicting ideas about their identities and ancestry. It tells us how one’s culture and heritage should be use daily so as not to forget our traditions, as well as to keep it alive and active. Walker displays the different sides of culture and heritage in the characters of Dee, Maggie and the Mother. She shows how each character has different qualities and philosophies in life, leading to their different meanings of heritage. Mama is a simple, country woman that values culture and heritage for its usefulness as well as its personal significance. Maggie is similar to her mother, living a simple life while maintaining the true meaning…show more content…
Mama, the narrator of the story, is a strong, loving mother who takes on a masculine role in her work, in order to take care of her children, while living a very simple life. Despite Mama’s willingness to operate outside of conventions, she lacks a broad view of the world and is, to some extent, intimidated by her oldest daughter, Dee. She resents the education, sophistication, and air of superiority that Dee has acquired over the years, and she doesn’t understand Dee’s life. it’s this failure to understand that leads to Mama’s distrust of Dee. In Mama’s eyes, Dee’s pursuit of “nice things”, including her education, has led her to forgetting the very essence of her heritage (Walker 2774). When Dee admires the benches, she exclaims “I never knew how lovely these benches are”; while Mama reminisces that the benches were made by Dee’s daddy, “when they couldn’t afford to buy chairs” (Walker 2776). Dee likes the benches because of the texture, not because her father made them. To mama, the benches are more than just “lovely” artifacts from the past; the benches actually embody the fondness of history within this memory, which
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