Heritage in Everyday Use, by Alice Walker - Heritage is one of the most important factors that represents where a person came from. Throughout the story, it reveals an African-American family living in small home and struggling financially.
Dee is a well-educated woman who struggles to understand her family's heritage because she is embarrassed of her mother and sister, Mama and Maggie Some people follow traditions so deeply rooted in their everyday life that they don't even recognize them as such. Why do you cook rice a certain way. Well, that's the way Grandma always did it. Others hold tradition above anything else.
They feel that it is very important to follow these established customs and cannot even imagine rebelling against them although they may be hurtful in some ways. They may not even remember the reason for these customs in the first place 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 The anger that was instilled in me was caused by numerous comments and actions that occurred throughout reading the short story.
I feel she was selfish, uneducated and unappreciative of her past and that the way she carried herself was ridiculous. Right from the beginning of my readings you are introduced to a character named Dee, before you ever get the opportunity to warm up to her character, she shows a very selfish characteristic and that trait is repeatedly brought out in the stor Alice Expresses what her feeling are about her heritage through this story. It means everything to her. Something such as a quilt that was hand made makes it special.
Only dedication and years of work can represent a quilt. A symbol is when the author uses an object in the story to represent a greater meaning. The quilt is a symbol of the family heritage that can only be appreciated by certain people The theory of psychoanalysis focuses on the concept of how our unconscious thoughts, feelings, and emotions play an active role in our daily lives.
The id, ego, and superego are the three mental zones that encompass our psyche. Each zone has a specific function: The id functions on the pleasure principle; the ego on the protection of the individual; and the superego on protection of society 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 or mere appearances, but by one's lifestyle and attitude.
Throughout the story, Walker personifies the different sides of culture and heritage in the characters of Dee and the mother the narrator The main character in the story, Mother, has two daughters that she treats very differently, and they treat her differently.
One daughter looks down on Mother in a condescending manner, and the other is obedient and kind. In "Everyday Use", Walker shows that in relationships between a mother and daughters, adaptation to change can sometimes be very hard, which leads to pride and protecting what one has accomplished, and finally shows how un-appreciation can hinder these relationships Unfortunately, for every perfect child there is, it seems that there is one child that is less talented and less beautiful.
In the short story, "Everyday Use", these two character descriptions fit perfectly in relation to the characters of Dee and Maggie.
Dee is the gifted and beautiful child, whereas Maggie seems to have been left behind by the gene pool and luck. In her short story, "Everyday Use", Alice Walker utilizes language, the tragedy of the fire burning down Maggie's family's house, and her portrayal of Dee to pain an extremely sympathetic portrait of Maggie These two stories show different cultures, generations and parenting methods.
Although the two mothers act differently, they are both ultimately motivated by the same desire: to be a good parent. In addition, while researching related articles, I realized that there were two recurring themes of mothers and daughters: respect and diverse ways of parenting In this short story Dee, the eldest daughter, was always ashamed by the way she lived during her childhood years.
As she was educated more and more, her feelings of hatred for poverty and ignorance grew intensely. After she finished college her abhorrent feelings grew immensely, and she tried to take advantage of those less educated than her This may be the way it is defined in the dictionary, but everyone has their own beliefs and ideas of what shapes their heritage.
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 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 It is obvious that Walker believes that a person's heritage should be a living, dynamic part of the culture from which it arose and not a frozen timepiece only to be observed from a distance.
There are two main approaches to heritage preservation depicted by the characters in this story. The narrator, a middle-aged African-American woman, and her youngest daughter Maggie, are in agreement with Walker Walker does an excellent job illustrating her characters. There are all types of characters in this short story from round to static.
She speaks of her family of two daughters Maggie and Dee. Throughout the story three themes consistently show. These themes show that the family is separated by shame, knowledge, and pride 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 In Alice Walker's "Everyday Use," however, this is not the case. The only thing Maggie and Dee share in common is the fact that they were both raised by the same woman in the same home. They differ in appearance, personality, and ideas that concern the family artifacts The qualities that society would find admirable within Mama are the same qualities that Dee, Mama's oldest daughter, would spurn, thinking them only the qualities of a down home, uneducated, country bumpkin.
Dee, the story's main antagonist, is proof that children are not necessarily products of their environment. From the beginning of the story we see that Mama, who describes herself as "a large, big-boned woman with rough, man working hands" 68 has no illusions about the type of woman she is; however, she still has enough depth to dream about being reunited with her dau The story involves characters from both sides of the African American cultural spectrum, conveniently cast as sisters in the story.
Maggie remains traditional: the unchanged, unaffected bystander. She stumbles along good-naturedly She knows she is not bright" Walker, However, by helping Mama, Maggie put the hand-made items in her life to everyday use, experiencing the life of her ancestors, while learning about her family's history.
All of which her materialistic sister does not and will never possess. Contrasting through Mama and Maggie, Dee seeks her heritage without understanding the heritage itself. The benefits of education also extend beyond just material ones: education helps Dee transform socially and spiritually. So while Dee has perhaps empowered herself, her actions have done little to change racist conditions for other African-Americans.
Of course, this is also a commentary on Dee herself as much as education as a whole. Walker, by inverting this expectation, seems to be writing against it, implying that educating only select individuals is rarely effective in elevating entire communities.
Dee, her oldest daughter who is visiting from college, perceives the quilts as popular fashion and believes they should undoubtedly be given to her. As individuals, we view and experience common heritage in subtly differing ways. To Dee they represent not family but a type of people and history she has long divorced herself from. In her short story "Everyday Use", Walker tells the story of her heritage and enables the reader to encounter the values in her life. The use of components to equal a whole is often exercised in literature.
The crisis, which occurs later in the story, happens when Dee all of a sudden comes home a different person than she was when she left It was about people fighting for change and other people who were content with the way things were. To illustrate her point she uses one family consisting of a mother and her two daughters and the way each of them views their ancestry and heritage. The old ways and the new ways.
Both are different in their appearance, personalities, and ideas about family heritage.
In the exposition, the story opens with background information about Dee and Maggie's life, which is being told by Mama. The crisis, which occurs later in the story, happens when Dee all of a sudden comes home a different person than she was when she left The old ways and the new ways. The qualities that society would find admirable within Mama are the same qualities that Dee, Mama's oldest daughter, would spurn, thinking them only the qualities of a down home, uneducated, country bumpkin.
The time is also estimated to be during the Civil Rights Movement around the year of In addition, while researching related articles, I realized that there were two recurring themes of mothers and daughters: respect and diverse ways of parenting
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. Simplicity against complexity.
If she really wanted to live her heritage she would accept everything that is apart of it. Family Everyday Use is a story about a family homecoming, and the dynamics between the three women provide much of the narrative drama. Throughout the story three themes consistently show. I feel she was selfish, uneducated and unappreciative of her past and that the way she carried herself was ridiculous. Also Little peepholes that would dig into deeper meanings, and hints in the story.
She is more manly then feminine and day drams about being a proud parent of a child who made it like she had seen on T. Dee shows her anger towards this immediate past in her happiness when their house burned, her readiness to leave her home behind when she went to college, and her lack of interest in learning family skills like sewing. This leads to conflict between the three women, and begins to separate Dee from Mama, and Maggie.