Significance Of Family Heritage And Tradition In Everyday Use By Alice Walker

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The importance of family heritage and tradition is demonstrated throughout Alice Walker’s work, “Everyday Use.” A family’s heritage reflects their relative’s beliefs or nationality and usually includes an important item that is being passed down throughout many generations. There are many symbols that influence Walker’s writing and reveal the theme of the story. Although Mama, the narrator, and one of her daughters, Maggie, understand the value of family heritage, the older daughter, Dee, has a different view on this concept. Even though the two sisters, Dee and Maggie, were raised under the same roof, there are a numerous amount of characteristics that differ between the two siblings. Dee, a determined young lady, yearns for the finer things …show more content…
Because of the little education received by Mama, she is determined to work hard so that she is able to provide for her family. She describes her appearance by explaining, “In real life I am a large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands (Walker 403). Along with Mama, Grandma Dee is also a hardworking woman, carefully hand making the two family quilts. Dee elaborates on the importance of her grandmother’s hand sewn quilts by saying, “She did all this stitching by hand. Imagine!” (407). The two quilts are pieced in unique and elegant patterns, the Lone Star pattern and the Walk Around the Mountain pattern. Because she values her family heritage, Grandma Dee dedicates her time and effort in order to create an item that represents their family and that can be passed down through …show more content…
Although there are a number of symbols throughout this story, the two quilts are the most significant. They not only represent the family’s hard work and dedication throughout life, they also portray the idea of family history, along with the gaining of strength by the narrator, Mama. The understanding of family heritage is essential, and throughout “Everyday Use,” one will gain the knowledge that Dee, the oldest daughter, does not know the true meaning of family heritage. Family heritage is a reflection of one’s nationality or beliefs. Usually, as exemplified in Alice Walker’s story, there is a sentimental item that is shared within families throughout many generations. The idea of heritage is demonstrated throughout Walker’s work of literature and reflects the idea of the theme, the meaning of true

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