Family vs. Family Essay

1526 Words Jan 23rd, 2013 7 Pages
Between the two short stories, “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin and “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, they reveal similarities and differences. Both stories are similar in the importance of family ties and the way they view family, but differ in sibling relations. In “Sonny’s Blues”, the siblings want to recreate their brotherly bond again, but in “Everyday Use” there is no sign of healing the hole between Dee, Maggie, and Mama.
First, we will look at the importance of family ties between both stories. In “Everyday Use” the characters have strong connections with family ties and their heritage. “Not ‘Dee,’Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo!” (280). Dee changing her name to Wangero tells the reader that Dee believes by changing her name to a more
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From another article called, In Spite of It All: Reading of Alice Walker’s ‘Everyday Use.’ By Whitsitt, Sam, he states, “When the flashy Dee finally does return, greeting her mother in Arabic and declaring that she no longer bears the name "Dee," but the African name "Wangero," and that "Dee," " 'She's dead' " (29)--it's as if there is not even a tombstone to mark the presence of her absence. Her return seems less a return than a passing by; she appears a curious visitor who has momentarily stopped off a road which began and ends elsewhere.” I agree with what Whitsitt says about Dee. He says that because of her changing her name to “Wangero”, her return back home to visit should not be called a return, but merely a passing by. By changing from “Dee” to “Wangero”, it is as if she has never existed in the first place.
Another similarity I found is a bit complex, but also relates to a sense of family. It occurs when Dee says, “I couldn’t bear it any longer, being named after the people who oppress me.” (280). This means that Dee feels she is being held back from her culture not being named something more close to what her background is and that she is basically being suppressed by the white man for having a name like Dee. Similarly, in “Sonny’s Blues” the notion of being suppressed black males is also given to Sonny and his brother. It…

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