Everyday Use Theme Analysis

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Themes allow readers to fully comprehend the story by giving the dominant idea of the story. The short story has three main characters named, Mama, Dee, and Maggie. The story also gives many examples of each of the characters idealistic world in which they wish to live in. Dee and Maggie are very different however, it creates an interesting plot and connects to the themes. Heritage plays a major role in the short story. In the short story Everyday Use by Alice Walker, it explains three key themes throughout the story with examples of each character. To begin with, one of the major themes in the short story is heritage. For instance, Mama’s eldest daughter, Dee, tries to embrace her heritage but in doing so causes confusion within the story. In one scene, Dee …show more content…
To illustrate, on page 316, paragraph, 11 it states “but that was before we raised money, the church and me, to send her to Augusta to school”. Mama gave her best effort to send her eldest daughter to school unlike herself, who had no education beyond the second grade. Dee also uses her education against her family even when she was young. On page 316 paragraph 11 it states “she washed us in a river of make-believe, burned us with a lot of knowledge we didn’t necessarily need to know”. As Dee greeted her mother, Mama most likely did not understand because she has no knowledge of the outside’s perspective on African culture except what her family has taught her, along with Maggie. While Dee is educated with knowledge in books, Maggie is equipped with knowledge of how to quilt and about her the meaning of her family heritage, unlike Dee. On page 321, paragraph 75, it states, “It was Grandma Dee and Big Dee who taught her how to quilt herself”. Dee had been taught by the school system as she studied in college, meanwhile, Maggie had been taught by her family and lives in a world revolved around her family, unlike her sister’s world of

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