Essay on Everyday Use By Alice Walker

1101 Words Oct 2nd, 2015 5 Pages
Alice Walker is a renowned novelist, poet, activist, and feminist that has created a notable reputation across the globe. Everyday Use is one of her favored and outstanding short stories in which she brings attention to the hardships of African-Americans who are having difficulties coping with their personal identities in cultural terms. This short story notes a few issues of heritage which sets up a conflict between the characters of the story, each with opposing viewpoints. Walker 's use of symbol with "quilt" and the difference of understanding the legacy of family, within the characters, generates a phenomenal story.
In "Everyday Use", conflicting ideas between a mother and her two daughters about their identities and heritage are seen. Walker exemplifies the different sides of culture and heritage in the characters of Dee, Maggie and the Mother, each with its different qualities and philosophies in life (Les 1). Mama’s two daughters, Dee and Maggie, have their own set of problems between the two of them. There is the conflict of skin color; intelligible and scholarly versus quiet and illiterate; a nice figure versus a skinny and burned young lady with no “style”; bold and head strong versus shy and passive. Mama and Maggie are on the same page, Dee on the other hand, looks at the value and worth of different items in their lives opposite of how her family does. Walker uses this conflict to make the point that the validity of an object, and of people, holds more value…

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