Everyday Use By Alice Walker Essay

1257 Words 6 Pages
Everyday Use, a short story written by Alice walker embraces the idea of heritage and shows the reader how important it is to be true to your culture. Dee, the narrator 's daughter loses sight of that and has to be reminded of her African American culture. In the story, she asks for the butter churn and quilts, two objects with an abundance of history behind them, with the intention to utilize as mere decorations. In an attempt to embrace her heritage, Dee changes her name thinking that this change would bring her closer to her heritage. She didn’t realize that a name without a substance is just a name. In contrast, in a poem titled “Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah”, the author was able to take on the name, Jimi Savannah, and understand what it betokened, grasping where it came from making her genuine to her heritage.
The first time we hear Dee’s new name is when she rectifies her mother and tells her it 's ‘Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo’. The name is used to replace Dee, a name she thought she inherited from those “oppressed” her. In reality, it was a family name. Dee was named after her Aunt Dicie. “We called her ‘Big Dee’ after Dee was born,” the narrator supports. Mama says, “ I probably could have carried it back beyond the Civil War through the branches.” This shows how even if Dee was right and there was a connection between the name and white Americans, it was erased as the name lived through the different generations in the family. From the moment the name was brought into…

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