The User By Alice Walker Analysis

Great Essays
The User”, by Alice Walker is a short story that examines the concepts of family, tradition, entitlement and the effects of education on how we perceive the world. It revolves around an African American family, mother and two daughters, Dee and Maggie. The setting is home in a rural area in Alabama and takes place during the mid-20th century. The mother sends the older daughter away to attend school in Augusta and with the help of her church she raises the money to give the daughter a better life. The younger daughter and mother are awaiting the arrival of Dee the older sister who is coming home for a visit.. Instead of a daughter who would come home glamourous and Americanized, Dee comes home in a bright African garb with a lot of gold …show more content…
“Not ‘Dee’, Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo!”(para.25)
“What happened to ‘Dee’?” I wanted to know. (para.26)
“She’s dead,” Wangero said. “I couldn’t bear it no longer, being named after the people who oppress me.”(para.27)
Dee shows she is absent of a loving, nurturing relationship with her mom or sister because of her education she has alienated herself from them. In Dee’s struggles with her relationship with her mother she is making fun of everything. I am reminded in those homemade quilts her sister is to gain; Dee sets out to possess them for herself, she believes she won’t be refused for she always gets her way. She does not see those quilts as a family heirloom but as museum pieces again she feels entitled. Maggie doesn’t seem to like to voice how she feels when Dee is oppressing her instead she tries to avoid Dee. She does not want Dee to take the quilts mama promised her, so when Dee is being condescending towards her mother, Maggie makes a statement by slamming the back door. Maggie knows how to make more quilts, but that is not the point, the quilts were promised to her. So to Dee’s surprise, she thinks her sister is so unintelligent that she could not possibly make such beautiful quilts, let alone why put them on a bed? Once Dee has insulted her sister, Mama takes action and the quilts are taken away from Dee and there given back to Maggie. This time Dee is alienated from the family by mama and by Maggie. It’s safe to say that mama is to
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Even though she admires Dee in dress and style and glad she gave her a better life than her own she certainly has not accepted Dee’s behavior towards her or towards Maggie. In the beginning of the story you see the setting taking place in the front yard, which is described as a dirt floor and they sweep it as if it’s part of their house, like an extended living room. You can see tradition and the pride they took to get ready for Dee’s visitation, Dee does not see the value in it. Farming is a tradition and you’re taught how to do it. Now a day’s tractors have taken over and the machine does the work for you. Which is considered a lost art now. Mama gives you the sense there is stress between the family members. I know she sees the entitlement attitude in Dee. The timeline appears to take place in the 1970’s, because Johnny Carson’s television show is

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