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“Everyday Use” Literature Analysis

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    In the short story “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker is a story about a mother and her two daughters in which one comes back home to visit the family. The history behind the author is she is a highly acclaimed novelist. She experienced her first collection of poetry, in which was published in 1968. The talents she had for story telling sparked her work even more. In The looks of the “ Everyday Use” it seem that the two girls are way different than one another. One of the girls, as it explains in the story “Dee, is lighter than Maggie, with nicer hair and a fuller figure”, it explains that she’s now become a woman (Walker Pg.346). As far as Maggie, “She had it hard not being so bright and that looks and money”, her mother clearly stated how she doesn’t feel comfortable not being cute enough and not smart enough (Walker Pg.347). So, throughout the story, you will understand what makes them different.

    In “Everyday Use”, the mother explains dee and how she thinks she’s too good for what happened. Dee was lighter than Maggie, she had nicer hair and a fuller figure. She was a woman and her mom sometimes forgot that. When the house burned down about 12 years ago (Walker Pg.345). The mom explains how she can see Maggie’s arms sticking to her, her hair smoking and her dress falling off in little black papery flakes. As she glances over, she sees dee standing off under the sweetgum tree she used to dig gum out of, look of concentration on her face. She then asks dee “Why won’t you do a dance around the ashes?” that’s how much dee hated the house (Walker Pg.345). This explains how dee felt that she was way better than what they had. They raised money to send her Augusta school. She got to become full of knowledge and fill their heads with what she knew. She wanted the nice things. Dee was the kid who got it all and felt better than how she was raised.

    Maggie will be nervous until her sister leaves She will stand in shame because of the scars down her arms in legs, eyeing her sister with a mixture of envy. She’s having issues with the way she looks Maggie says, “In real life, I am large, big-boned woman with rough, man working hands”, she is shaming her herself for not being able to look flawless and know the nature of booty(Walker Pg.345). She explains that she’s good at man work, but not at female work. She has tendencies to kill and clean hogs as a man. The structure of her being big boned keep her from being cold in the zero weather as she explains the ways she looks and how horrible she feels.((Walker Pg.346). Maggie was left out in the story , it seemed that since she had been the one to discover the pain and heartache, she was looked at with shame. As the story go on , you start realize how much she doesn’t appreciate herself and how she’s afraid to even be around her sister . But the fact that she found someone who love her for her which was john. The mother is also excited about Maggie marrying John and her being able to sing hymns.

    As Dee arrives, Maggie attempts to dash in the house. The glimpse of her feet was always neat as if God himself shaped them with a certain style. Dee and her boyfriend arrive and that’s when Maggie sucks in her breath and says “ Uhnnh” (Walker Pg.347). Dee’s mother that doesn’t approve of the boyfriend and his appearance and doesn’t like what Dee’s appearance looks like either. Dee than gets a camera and snaps a few pictures of Maggie and her mama. Dee’s boyfriend then tries to shake Maggie’s hand and she refuses (Walker Pg.348). The mothers then try to pronounce Dee’s new name, in fact, she can barely pronounce (Walker Pg.348). Dee then tells her mom she doesn’t have to call her that, but mother insisted that she will call her that. In this story, it has plenty of allegory with two parallel and one consistent level of meaning. Throughout the remainder of the story, Dee has this sense that she wants to be like her heritage and not just what her mama think. She rather take it upon herself to be what she wants and doesn’t care how anyone else feels about that. She states that “ She’s dead “, which shes saying that dee no longer exist and that was the name that oppressed her. She rather stick with her heritage(Walker Pg.348).

    In conclusion to this story, Dee wants to get in touch with her African side of the family. But in doing so in the meantime, she ignores the fact that her mom has other ways of doing so. Dee wants to showcase the African heritage and show it off which is why she changed her name to Wangero. At the end of the story, Dee says “You ought to try to make something out of yourself, too, Maggie. It’s really a new day for us. But from the way you and mama still live, you’d never know it (Walker Pg.352).” She is setting that even though they have a different lifestyle than her, they should make the best of what they have and even better. Dee’s style of living is symbolic of her culture. For Maggie and her mother, they are living in real experience.

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    “Everyday Use” Literature Analysis. (2022, Feb 10). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/everyday-use-literature-analysis/

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