Alice Walker's Everyday Use Term Paper

Pages: 2 (706 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Race

Alice Walker's "Everyday Use"

The Problem of Afro- American Heritage in Alice Walker's Everyday Use

Cultural heritage should be something for "everyday use" and not something that is to be merely stored into a safe place as an emblem for identity. In Alice's Walker's short story entitled Everyday Use the tension between the mother and her eldest daughter is given by their conflicting ideas about identity and cultural heritage: Dee understands identity as the strict preservation of tradition, whereas the mother simply lives her life remembering the past but also observing the present.

Thus, the contrast between the mother or narrator of the story and her oldest daughter is very striking and very symbolic at the same time. The mother describes herself as a rather uncouth and uneducated person, having the strength of a man, both physically and morally. Dee is however educated and very stylish, with a strong personality. The two obviously appreciate their own heritage in a contrasting way. The mother and her younger daughter simply live their lives in the way in which they inherited from their grandmothers. However, they also live in the present American society. Dee, by contrast, rejects the American and engulfs herself in a strictly African style of life which obviously becomes an obsession for her.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on Alice Walker's Everyday Use Assignment

For the mother, tradition is something that she remembers but that she does not use as an emblem. Dee, on the other hand changes her name and her appearance to fit her new identity better and to become entirely African. The mother and Maggie, the youngest daughter, are obviously wiser when they put tradition to everyday use. Moreover, they are much more capable to adapt to the present and this is proven when they manage to learn the difficult names that Dee and her partner have taken up: "You don't have to call me by it if you don't want to,' said Wangero. 'Why shouldn't 1?' I asked. 'If that's what you want us to call you, we'll call you.' 'I know it might sound awkward at first,' said Wangero. 'I'll get used to it,' I said. 'Ream it out… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Alice Walker's Everyday Use" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Alice Walker's Everyday Use.  (2007, December 13).  Retrieved November 30, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Alice Walker's Everyday Use."  13 December 2007.  Web.  30 November 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Alice Walker's Everyday Use."  December 13, 2007.  Accessed November 30, 2021.