‘Everyday Use’ by Alice Walker

‘Everyday Use’ by Alice Walker

The story ‘Everyday Use’ by Alice Walker is a tale regarding a mother who resides with her reclusive and repulsive daughter. They are fervently anticipating for the arrival of the firstborn daughter, Dee, whose lifespan has constantly been a pushover. Her boyfriend escorts Dee; they acknowledge Maggie and Mama in Islam and African truisms. Dee indicates that she has altered her forname, indicating that that did not endure having a name from her enemies’ ancestry. The resolve gashes her mother, who christened her after a lineage of family members. Various secondary sources have diverse accounts on the aspect on culture and heritage.  However, the research paper will focus on two secondary sources, Cultural Trauma’s Influence on Representations of African American Identity in Alice Walker’s” Everyday Use” and Epiphanic Awakenings in Raymond Carver’s Cathedral and Alice Walker’s Everyday Use.

In the first article, the authors contends that Dee regarded culture as a phenomenon that needs to be critically observed. She cannot appreciate the quilts that are part of the family heritage. She states “She would perhaps be regressive enough to make use of them every day” (Elmore 3).  She views her family as strangers when she takes pictures of them and makes sure that she has a shot of the house. She suggests that the dasher and the churn top can be utilized as ornamental products in her house. She does not comprehend that these items she yearns for as ornamental objects originate from her household’s “everyday use.” This represents the prevailing understanding of persons that have previous used them. We can approve to this concept that Dee does not value her custom, despite being born and raised in the surrounding. After leaving her family, she is seen to return as a completely changed individual. Dee views ethnicities as to some extent inapt in the modern world and has been overlooked in history.

In the second article, indicates that Dee’s fundamental agenda attributed to acquisition of the quilts is gaining fame and popularity. With the changes in the style and name, Dee desired to be famous and bringing more light into her pace of origin (Sadeq 157). Both her mother and sister, Maggie are a representation of black individuals that lacked information regarding their rights. According to Sadeq, these are the black individuals that may have overlooked their origins (157). On the other hand, there are other black individuals that are profoundly entrenched in their heritage. Moreover, the article illustrates through Dee how black individuals are trying to make it to recognition and acquire wealth. This brings about aggressiveness and resourcefulness.  Mama constantly attempts to make her daughters bond. Her closeness to Maggie is illustrated when she states that she offers Maggie the quilts rather than Dee. However, it is easily understood why Mama is not close to Dee.  This is attributed to her lame personality of looking down on other people and viewing herself as the much-cultured individual. Maggie and her mother that that an individual’s heritage is based on the hereditary objects and way of thinking. Maggie’s characters similar to her mother, a woman that may withstand every aspect and values her heritage as compared to Dee.

Lastly, it is difficult to alter an individual’s heritage when deep-rooted.  As a result, it would be challenging for Dee to convince both her mother and sister. Both secondary sources Culture and heritage are normally passed on to every generation, and a minor alteration may result in disastrous impacts. Consequently, both secondary sources state that heritage cannot assimilated as much as Dee suggests that she may not forget her culture. However, she did forget and made attempts to make her mother and sister observe the culture an ancient practice. Individuals that hold onto real beliefs and tradition will openly embrace the norms.

Works Cited

Elmore, Raheem Terrell Rashawn. Cultural Trauma’s Influence on Representations of African American Identity in Alice Walker’s” Everyday Use”. Diss. University of Dayton, 2019.

Sadeq, Ala Eddin, and Mohammed Al-Badawi. “Epiphanic Awakenings in Raymond Carver’s Cathedral and Alice Walker’s Everyday Use.” Advances in Language and Literary Studies 7.3 (2016): 157-160.


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