Skip Nav

Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” Essay Sample

Testimonials

❶What images does Orwell use that might give you a hint about his attitude toward the government?

Everyday Use Thesis Statements and Important Quotes

Get Full Essay
Logging out…
by Alice Walker

Education is the means through which Dee rejects and belittles her family, thus leading to division and alienation. At the same time, knowledge is a provocation, reminding Mama of the exposure and opportunities she was never given. Mama gives voice to her resentment at her own stalled schooling and finds comfort in her physical strength and endurance. Infused with negative connotations, education is suggested as a destructive force that harms individuals by exposing them to worlds to which they will never really belong.

Some are harmed or excluded by the struggle to acquire learning and are destined to be like Maggie, hanging meekly in the doorway of a room that she will never be able to enter, shut out from the ability to change.

For Mama, this threat is as real and unwanted as a fire racing through the rafters. Most obviously—and most importantly—the quilts that Mrs.

Most importantly, however, these fragments of the past are not simply representations in the sense of art objects; they are not removed from daily life. What is most crucial about these quilts—and what Dee does not understand—is that they are made up of daily life, from materials that were lived in. After all, what is culture but what is home to us, just as Mrs.

Virtually every word Dee, or Wangero, speaks has a tinge of condescension towards the very heritage that she supposedly values so much. Dee, from the instant she greets her mother and sister, up until the point of leaving, places herself above her family through her statements and her actions.

The title of Everyday Use by Alice Walker carries several meanings apart from being a convenient beginning. In fact, many of the those most important themes of the story are highlighted by the issue of how things are used on an everyday basis. For example, the most obvious issues surrounding the everyday use of items and the disagreements around them is that of the quilts. The issue of everyday use also extends to other matters, such as the usefulness of reading, considering race and class, among others.

For this essay, spend one paragraph on different examples of the duality of usefulness. For your conclusion, reflect on why there might be different ideas on usefulness. Race and Rural Versus Urban. Dee was always ashamed of her family, where she grew up, and the house they lived in. Now, Dee seems to have a newfound appreciation for her heritage, which may just be for show. On page 90, the narrator describes the scene in which the old house burns down.

It is implied that Dee may have even burnt the old house down. Maggie is unfortunate enough that she burns fairly badly in the fire. Dee is a very unlikable person in many ways. The story "Everyday Use" expresses many of the ways she is unlikable including her selfishness, arrogance, and ungratefulness.

In "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker, Dee is considered an unlikable person because she is arrogant, selfish, and ungrateful. This section contains words approx. Browse all BookRags Study Guides.

How to cite this page

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

"Everyday Use" was published early in Alice Walker's writing career, appearing in her collection In Love and Trouble: Stories of Black Women in The work was enthusiastically reviewed upon publication, and "Everyday Use" has since been called by some critics the best of Walker's short stories.

Privacy FAQs

- Everyday Use In the short story "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker, two sisters portray their contrasting family views on what they perceive to be heritage. The idea that a quilt is a part of a family's history is what the narrator is trying to point out.

About Our Ads

The short story "Everyday Use", written by Alice Walker, is about an African-American mother and her two daughters. The story evolves around one daughter, Dee, coming back home to visit her family. As one is introduced to the characters in "Everyday Use", it becomes apparent that the two sisters, Maggie and Dee, are very different. SYMBOLISM AND CHARACTERIZATION IN “EVERYDAY USE” Introduction: A.“Everyday Use” is a poignant narrative that describes the relationship between family members through creative symbolism and fine characterization. B.

Cookie Info

Everyday Use - the Gift of Family Essay. 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. Alice Walker inserts the glasses in "Everyday Use " to help symbolize Dee's final personality changes to put closer from her and her family. Alice Walker ends "Everyday Use " with the separation of Dee going her way and Mama and Maggie continues to enjoy the simplicity of life.3/5(7).