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Everyday use story by alice walker

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Everyday Use By Alice Walker (1973) T one- This story , in my opinion, does not possess the warm-hearted, jolly, and happy side of a short story, we’d expect from a title, such as Everyday Use. Instead, this story is a more refreshing realistic tone of life and the harshness it may possess. There is a perfectly adequate amount of crudeness in the story, especially within the lifestyle of these individuals. The tone changes as the story continues on.

In the beginning the story has a more worrisome, jealousy, and a want to be accepted feel, especially at the opening when it discusses Maggie and how she is ashamed of her burns, then peering at her sister in envy and awe. Then the mother’s want to be accepted by her daughter, Dee, who she feels would accept her if her appearance was different. Also, my assumption is greatly backed up by these two statements. The first quote being- “ She thinks her sister has held life always in the palm of one hand, and that “ no” is a word it never learned to say to her. The last being the dream statement, which exemplifies the want for acceptance from her daughter– “ Sometimes I dream a dream in which Dee and I are suddenly brought together on a TV program of this sort…Then we are on the stage and Dee is embracing me with tears in her eyes. ” As the story continues the tone moves from worrisome to mystery and embarrassment. The mystery was shown by the want to know why the change in Dee and who this man was with her.

The embarrassment, in my opinion was a underlining tone, because it was solely shown through actions like Maggie’s want to dash away when she noticed her sister arriving in the vehicle, and the ashamed statement Dee wrote once before her arrival. This statement was that “ no matter where we family “ choose” to live, she will manage to come see us. But she will never bring her friends. ” Next tone I grasped was the anger of Maggie when Dee came to take the things she wanted and then Maggie wanting to just get it over with and give her sister whatever she wants as Dee had always received.

The final tone I received during my reading was the feeling of relief once the sister, Dee- or now known as Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo- and the guy named Hakim-a-barber’s departure. P Lot- The family’s daughter/sister is returning to visit her family- consisting of the mama and Maggie. It begins by discussing the history of the family, such as the burns, fire, and their education. Then it continues on till Dee arrived home with her friend. They just met. They all talk about things, such as the name change and the new connection Dee/Wangero has made with her ancestral history.

They all sit down to eat dinner together and then the climax rises when the daughter begins to raid the house for things she wants. One thing that Dee wanted to take was a quilt made by Grandma Dee and that really sparked Maggie up causing her to agree to let her sister get what she wanted again. But this time Mama wasn’t going for it. She snatched it out of Dee’s hands and sat it in Maggie’s lap. Then Dee made smart remarks toward Maggie about making something of her own self and it being a new day for them but they wouldn’t know with how she and Mama are.

Then she left with her guy friend; Mama and Maggie watched the car dust settle outside and enjoyed snuff till they decided to go to sleep. C haracterization- Mama, in my opinion, is a hard a**. She describes herself as being a large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands. The mother can wear flannel at night and overalls in the day, and she’s as merciless as a man when it comes to killing and cleaning a hog. She continues on describing the other rough and tough, manly things she has accomplished as a woman.

Unlike her is Maggie, a complete opposite, in most ways. Maggie is not as witty and tough as her mother. She in my eyes is more gentle-natured, she has a lack of self-confidence which is projected by the way she carries herself, such as her walk and hiding behind her mother during the photographs after the sisters arrival. Which leads me to the woman who is a desperate need of a reality check, named Dee, she is an individual who picks on others less fortunate and whom have a good-nature to themselves.

She shows this when she comes to her family home and begins taking the little they have for herself, and stating the comments she said to her sister before the departure, and finally, stating the comment about never going to bring any company/friends around the home she is so ashamed of, making her seem as if she is a stuck up “ female dog”. S etting- The setting basically takes place in a southern region of the USA, in a small rural community. At the home of these three individuals, which is located in hot plain pasture, with a clay ground and it is somewhat dusty.

I do not see any bright color schemes anywhere within the story, so I believe the setting’s picture is mainly going to consist of the more of the common brown darker tones with a few lights, mainly fall colors. The small home is a three bedroom, tin roof, cut out sail boat non-round windows, with a tree in the backyard. There is nothing fancy or expensive, mostly family valuables. The dining room is another setting which is basically older items that were made by hand by some of the family members and used for many generations. P int of View-The POV was told by Mama, this was exemplified by all the “ I”’s and “ We” she stated throughout the story. Also, the reader knew what the mother’s opinion was more than the other characters within the story. Mama discussed Maggie and her daughter Dee, what they were like and how their ways were, and she also stated the history of their small family at the beginning. Mama openly spoke about herself, the guest, and how she had the witty and quick tongue, that the white man off that TV program would not be able to keep up with.

The POV was told by a truly “ amazing, fun spirited, do anything that a man can do maybe even better” woman, called MAMA! I rony- There is irony all throughout the story. In my opinion, I sense the most irony when the daughter, Dee, who received what she wanted and the world never learned to tell her no, finally got the word when her mother snatched the quilt out of her hand and placed it in her daughter’s, Maggie,-whom never got her way- lap.

Also, another example is when Dee arrives home with everything changed, including her name and opinion about her history. To me is irony, because she tells her sister, Maggie, that she should and could make something of herself – but how? Like Dee did? Changing her whole identity and Maggie would not do that when she is truly happy with whom they are and not a phony made up individual. Another example of irony is when Mama discusses the TV program, and the ‘ beautiful’ relationship the mother and daughter share.

Which in her case is non-realistic instead she shows a “ true” relationship between a mother and her daughters, and not the bogus ‘ let’s run to each-other embracing each in our arms with fake tears racing down our face and pretended we live in a beautiful world full of unicorns and rainbows. ’ Instead it’s the real, crude life of these individuals and how things truly are. T heme- is described as the underlying idea, a statement that a work makes about its subject.

In “ Everyday Use” by detailing the events that had occurred and stating the comments it did it causes the theme to illuminate the raw truth that life can possess and the realistic life of a mother and her two daughters. It is a sense of a refreshing intake of recognition for Mama to realize the daughter who would always give everything for her sister deserved to get what was hers! No longer would there be a favorite out of the two, life would now treat Maggie as it did Dee. Paper written by: Angelica Fricke

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