Alice Walker- Everyday Use

2282 Words10 Pages
Alice Walker Everyday Use Critically examine the representation of culture groups and communities in one or more texts studied. I have chosen to focus my study upon the novel by Alice Walker, ‘Everyday Use’. From the texts studied ‘Everyday Use’ appealed to me the most and stood out as being a great representation of different culture groups and communities, and ultimately how they affect identity. It is a complex story of different ideals and what it means to be part of a community or culture group, a story of what we inherit unintentionally and what we then choose to inherit when exposed to other cultures. ‘Everyday Use’ is almost an historical novel, based upon Dee’s family history. It is very much about African identity and Dee’s reaction to this having leaving home and moving to university. On one side there is the history of her immediate family, having lived through the civil war. However there is also the history of the culture and community in which her family belong to, dating back hundreds of years to the time of African slavery and oppression. Choosing to end the novel with ‘1973’ also indicates that Alice Walkers wants the reader to place the texts historically, after the years of the apartheid in America, when segregation was law. It also means that the reader may then understand why Dee is so confused about her identity and why her family find it so difficult to move on and away from their southern African American routes. ‘Everyday Use’ is specifically from a woman’s point of view, it is a personal account of a woman’s experience of history. Quilting for example was a huge part of African American culture for women, often associated with the south. ‘In the 1980’s, partially inspired by Walker’s works, many studies, including those by cultural and feminist critics such as Elaine Showalter, explored the relationship between the
Open Document