An analysis of the meaning of heritage in everyday use by alice walker

Behbud Muhammedzade Prepared by Niwar A. Obaid December 27, Introduction Alice Walker as a novelist, poet, short story writer, activist and feminist has built a well-known reputation worldwide.

An analysis of the meaning of heritage in everyday use by alice walker

Contact Author The quilt causes the central conflict of the story but the problems run much deeper.

Literary Analysis of Everyday Use by Alice Walker | Niwar A Obaid -

When Dee goes to college she can barely wait to shake the dust off her feet from her poor, Georgia community. Unreliable Narrator One of the interesting techniques that Alice Walker uses to tell her story is by making it a first person narrative told through Mama, an uneducated, rural Georgia, black woman, living in the past and unable to understand the present.

She admits to the reader from an early point that she never understood Dee and the she and her older daughter clashed from the time that she was a young girl. So already we are being told this story by a biased narrator, one who has her own prejudices and who possibly lacks the capacity to fully understand who Dee is or who she has become.

When Dee comes back from school with a new Muslim boyfriend and a name change and suddenly claims that she understands her past and wants to preserve it, Mama is understandably confused, hurt and angry. She lashes out towards Dee in the only way she can, by painting a negative picture of her to the reader and by denying her the quilt that she so desperately wants.

The Quilt The quilt becomes the central conflict in the story. It has had generations of family work on it and even contains a patch from a very old Civil War uniform. The conflict arises when the question of whether this unique quilt should go to Maggie who plans to use it when she gets married soon, or to Dee who says she wants to hang it up and preserve it is asked.

From the title of the story, the reader can probably already guess what Mama thinks and what the fate of the quilt would be.

Everyday Use

But was it the right choice? Can quilts also be more than just a cover? Source Maggie Maggie is easily the most pathetic character in the story. Whether she is clueless because of a mental disability or because of her lack of exposure to education and the outside world, she seems to be dominated by Dee.

An analysis of the meaning of heritage in everyday use by alice walker

But remember, that the reader is only getting this information through Mama. There is some question about whether Mama just sees what she wants to see. Mama even blames Dee for the accident that left Maggie disabled and walking with a limp. Maggie does not want to get in the way of her sister and when Dee wants the quilt, Maggie tells Mama just to let her have it.

As she leaves she encourages Maggie to get away and tells her that it is a whole new world out therea world that Dee has discovered through education and exposure.

Dee Dee gets a bad rap from the beginning. Since he reader is set up to dislike her and be suspicious of her because of Mama, some careful reading and analysis reveals what is good about Dee. She does sweep in with all these changes and is demanding and overwhelms Mama.

We know from Mama that she has always had a commanding presence. Dee is not perfect, but is she wrong? But has she really changed and of the changes she made, are they completely invalid? Dee is not wrong that her name, that came from her grandmother, actually has its roots in slavery.

She also attempts to re-establish that connection by expressing herself through dress and name change. The opposite is actually true. These changes show that Dee is trying to establish a deeper understanding and connection with her history--something Mama is either unable or unwilling to do.In Alice Walker's story 'Everyday Use,' sisters Dee and Maggie view their heritage through very different lenses, separating entitlement from devotion An Analysis of 'Everyday Use' by Alice Walker Search the site GO.

These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Everyday Use. Identity Confusion in Alice Walker's "Everyday Use" The Black Empowerment Movement within Bambara's "The Lesson" and Walker's "Everyday Use" Pride and Heritage in “Everyday Use”.

by: Alice Walker "Everyday Use" is a short story by Alice Walker that was first published in Get a copy of "Everyday Use" at Alice Walker's "Everyday Use," is a story about a poor, African-American family and a conflict about the word "heritage." In this short story, the word "heritage" has two meanings.

Everyday Use Analysis

One meaning for the word "heritage" represents family items, thoughts, and traditions passed down through the years. Heritage, and its relationship to daily life, is the central question that Walker explores in “Everyday Use.” Through the eyes of Mama, and through the contrasting characters of Dee and Maggie, Walker offers two varying views of what family history, the past, and “heritage” really mean.

The Meaning of Heritage in Alice Walker's Everyday Use Alice Walker's "Everyday Use," is a story about a poor, African-American family and a conflict about the word "heritage." In this short story, the word "heritage" has two meanings.

The theme of Heritage and the Everyday in Everyday Use from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes