Alice Walker 's Everyday Use Essay

1099 Words Oct 15th, 2014 null Page
The 1970’s were a time of the change for women and African Americans in America. Alice Walker’s short story “Everyday Use” gives readers a glimpse into some of the difficulties African American women faced and still face today. Alice Walker displays the difficulties to try to keep heritage, traditions, identity while being able to make political and societal change through her use of symbols, characters and theme. Many men and women over time have conformed to what society believes people should be and have lost a lot of their heritage and culture because they want to fit in. In an effort to recognize their original African culture some people lost their own personal family traditions and heritage. Some of the change experienced by African Americans made them feel as if they were losing their heritage. People were being forced to stop ‘being themselves’ and conform to what society wanted them to be. The character Dee changed her ideals to honor her heritage. Dee refused her birth name ‘Angero Leewanika Kemanjo’ because she believed her birth name was a “white name”. Dee believed that the name represented the people ‘who oppressed her’. Dee said, “She’s dead’, Wangero said, ‘I couln’t bear it any longer, being named after the people who oppress me.”(813). Dee doesn’t seem to understand that her name was passed down to her from several generations. Even though Dee is remembering her African ancestors by changing her name, she seems to forget the fact that the person she is…

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