Alice Walker Identity

Superior Essays
Every major aspect in life is derived for and from one’s identity. There are some who accept life as it is and what identity it has given them. There are others who choose to create their own recognition. As such, it is critical to be well educated and appreciative of all the factors that contribute to this cause. Alice Walker sheds light on the heritage and the importance it plays in shaping one’s identity in her short story “Everyday Use.”The author conveys the message of acceptance of African- American identity through the choice of separating or combining of the two sides of the hyphen. The narrator and Maggie have a perspective that is more rooted in reality while Dee has a confused, different way of pursuing her identity. Dee’s perspective …show more content…
She’s pleased by the fact that the narrator and Maggie still used the furniture her father had made because it proves that they are still poor and hence cannot buy new furniture (555). She makes a comment about how the seats are indented with age. It’s rather ironic when a girl who didn’t want to live like her family lived, comes back finding all the things she once thought to be detestable now appealing. The “churn top” and the “dasher” in which she has a new found interest are both items that have ingrained history of her family’s finger prints niched onto them which are symbols of her heritage. One would think that she’s finally embraced the poverty her ancestors went through, but in fact she wants to use them as decorative pieces in her house. Her mom and Maggie make use of the above for household purposes; when she uses the churn top and the dasher as items of decoration, it implies that she’s become successful, but her family is still left behind to suffer in poverty. Later, she eyes the quilts that were meant to be given to Maggie saying “Maggie can’t make use of these quilts! She’d probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use” (556). Even now, she’s ignorant to the truth of these artifacts of their family lineage. It’s Maggie who tells her the history of the churn top and dasher and how their ancestors made them with their hands (556). She’s wanted the quilts because they had pieces of her grandmothers clothes sued into them which reminded her of the beautiful Africa. Her mother had to remind her that even a small piece of her “Great Grandpa Ezra’s uniform that he wore in the Civil War” was also stitched onto the quilt which was a reminder of the struggle the hardships her people had faced, a bitter but true part of her history that

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