Essay: Everyday Use by A. Walker

Pages: 3 (1459 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Family and Marriage  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] During this time in history, there was very little or only secretive interracial dating, yet Dee arrives with a more than willing attitude to show off her new boyfriend, yet like most parents in those days, they did not tolerate nor would they allow their children to date outside of their race. Especially within the white families who would forbid their child to be around "colored people" let along ever date someone who is a different skin color. Back then, it was very rare that anyone was ever around other people besides their color unless it had to do something with working for a living and having to communicate to get the work done. Walker also mentions that Dee changed her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo to show her hate toward the people who have demoralized her in her lifetime of being segregated in America, which this also goes to support the timeframe that the setting was supposed to have taken place in.

Yet, the irony arises when Mama wonders why Dee would go to such an extent to not be associated with white people that hate on black people because actually, she named Dee after a family member, but Dee asks her mama to call her by her new name as Mama. This situation is delivering a message to how Mama's own daughter is acting just like the white people who show their hate toward black people, regardless of what color can tend to act like if they do not like people of a different color in a society where different color then meant you were not equal if you were not white. Today, interracial dating is still criticized by it is by far from abnormal, and when Dee and her boyfriend arrive, Mama thinks he is Muslim from the name he has which there were some who lived close by, however, Hakim-a-barber recognizes who he is as being made out in the story to not accept the person he was before he met Dee because even though they are of different heritage they should be accepted and respected. Mama's attitude is more of a calmer reaction than many mothers in her time would have reacted if their child arrived with a boyfriend with a different skin color. Yet, times have changed, and most people if they do not accept they just overlook and do not say anything anymore because it is so very common in today's society.

The character for Mama's had motherly concerns and worries about Hakim and Dee and if they would make a mistake and get married. Mama handles the scenario professionally even when Hakim refuses to eat what Mama cooked for dinner, while Dee thinks of her father, Walker would have went with some of the plots nor the outcome of her story. Many parents during this era in history would have been boldly insulted in that day in age if they openly invited a guest to eat yet refused to eat what was prepared, and would not have thought twice about making Dee stay behind while Hakim moved on. This part of the plot only mentions of the sisters' father and how he made the home so alive, yet it never mentioned his own opinions on the main argument and prejudice parts that occur in the storyline. By the end of the meal, Maggie is trying to get Hakim to dislike Dee and tells him how she is still pleased with her home that was made by her first husband.

The story has a conclusion, yet it is with Mama because she was the stories narrator who commented how she felt about possibly becoming haunted by the life that her daughters were choosing to live, act, and think. While Mama has to take care of one of her daughters, Maggie, who isolates and is afraid of life, she thinks about her other daughter, Dee, who is handling life's situations back a half a century ago as if she was living in the present and irresponsibly, and her mother fears her own feelings and actions and the way they chose to live will only put even more weight on Dee, Maggie, and Mama's relationship because your family's actions reflected back on the family as a whole and still does a… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Everyday Use by A. Walker.  (2011, September 10).  Retrieved August 25, 2019, from

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"Everyday Use by A. Walker."  10 September 2011.  Web.  25 August 2019. <>.

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"Everyday Use by A. Walker."  September 10, 2011.  Accessed August 25, 2019.