Everyday Use By Alice Walker Cultural Identity Essay

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Cultural Identity can most simply be defined as a sense of belonging. In Everyday Use, Alice Walker depicts a narrative of a family conflicted from their differences in how they individually express their cultural identity. Dee, otherwise known as Wangero Leewanik Kemanjo, sees her cultural identity expressed more globally and impersonally. On the other hand, her sister Maggie and her mom both share a different view of cultural identity from the one Dee sees. This cultural identity they share is expressed more locally and personally. Walker’s story is deeply focused in the areas of heritage and culture. “[Dee’s] … intelligence blinds her to the importance of ordinary objects as cultural markers. The alternative to such a narrow view is a living tradition that preserves heritage … [such as that of her mother and sister Maggie]” (Cowart).…show more content…
No doubt, anyone’s cultural identity should be shaped by family traditions. Traditions and customs are what you were raised off of and molded you into who you are. Dee lacks a true understanding of her heritage, as she is overly concerned with style, fashion, and aesthetics unlike mama and Maggie. She comes off as shallow, condescending, and manipulative. (Farrell). Dee’s cultural identity has been formed from fads and ideas of what her heritage might be opposed to what it actually is in reality. In the story, Everyday Use, Dee was raised by her mother and brought up on old family customs. After leaving for college and receiving an education she quickly developed a detachment and lack of understanding for her family identity. A study was performed and found that people tend to feel more connected to their cultural groups and spend more time looking into their history when families actively share cultural customs and traditions. (Juang). For example, if you did not perform any traditional family

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