American Lit. Alice Walker

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Alice Walker “Everyday Use” 1. Briefly describe each of the 3 female characters, including their relationships to each other. Compare and contrast the 2 younger females. 2. What purpose, if any, does Hakim-a-barber serve? 3. The point of the story can be found in addressing the following: describe both the literal and the underlying contrast of the “everyday use” of the quilt vs. hanging the quilt from a wall to be displayed. What larger life application can the underlying contrast have? Of the two daughters at odds over family heirlooms in the story Everyday Use, Alice Walker resembles each one. Like the burned Maggie, she spent a childhood even more limited than her family’s rural poverty dictated, for as a little girl she was shot in the eye with a BB gun; the disfigurement plagued her until it was corrected during her college years. Like Dee, she was able to attend college – first Spellman College and then Sarah Lawrence College on a scholarship – the slaves who made those bricks surely suffered in the process. From her native Eatonton, Georgia, Walk gained an understanding of the rural South. In her essay, Beyond the Peacock, Walker evaluates both the older white writer Flannery O’Connor, who lived nearby in Milledgeville, and the perspectives from which readers see the region and its heritage. Visitors to O’Connor’s home for example, often romanticize the house’s handmade bricks; Walker points out that the slaves who made those bricks surely suffered in the process. After college, she work in the Civil Rights Movement against segregation and then to teach at Jackson State College in Mississippi. The Color Purple has many dramatic themes including rape, incest, and the killing of her babies by her father, and both physical and psychological abuse by her husband. This book was made into a movie in the 80’s and Oprah was in it. She is still alive

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