Everyday Use - the Gift of Family Essay

960 Words May 13th, 2012 4 Pages
The Gift of Family

Everyday Use is a short story that teaches a value lesson of heritage, inheritance, the past, and one’s family. For some the lesson maybe perceived as an illustration to develop the natural instinct of valuing our family and our past as objects of everyday use. However, the lesson that Alice Walker conveys to her readers is to understand that the value of heritage is within the eye of the beholder. Within this paper I will explain the strategies; I think the writer uses to convey particular ideas and my opinion of what the theme of the story is. I will describe how I personally relate to the theme, and implications that I made from the story. A
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I relate to the theme of Everyday Use because I am an individual who cherish the value and legacy behind my family’s past. I value the materials, stories, and handcrafted art that has been made by my family (especially those that I never met). Nevertheless, Alice Walker proves her point of the theme through the two sisters Dee and Maggie. She introduces the unique characteristics of each child significantly. Alice describes Maggie as a bashful child who has a mixture of envying her sister, but yet ashamed of her own appearance: “Maggie will be nervous until after her sister goes: she will stand hopelessly in corners homely and ashamed of the burn scars down her arms and legs, eying her sister with a mixture of envy and awe” (Walker, 1973/2011, pp. 1087). However, it is perceived to the readers that Dee is the golden child or the child who has it easy in life. Momma describes Dee in the Maggie’s perception to the readers: “She thinks her sister had held life always in the palm of one hand, that “no” is a word the world never learned to say to her” (Walker, 1973/2011, pp. 1087). The significant difference between the two sisters is how Maggie embraces her past (handmade quilts) and Dee wants them for the beauty of the art. The one inference I made from the story was how Dee despise her mother and sister for nothing wanting the better things in life, and becoming comfortable with the traditional

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