Character Analysis of Alice Walker's Everyday Use

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The short story “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker captures the depiction of the agreement and also the disagreements and struggle surrounding African-American culture. This short story centered on the Johnson family and their life in their rural area home. Dee the one child who is the only member of the family who has higher education comes to visit her mother and her sister Maggie, Dee brought along her male friend who seems to be her boyfriend. At this time, with the family coming together, Alice walker shows the different understandings of Africa-American culture. Walker uses symbolism to stress the differences between these understandings and eventually to support one to show that culture and heritage are part of day to day life. The beginning of the story is mainly about Mrs. Johnson, Dee’s and Maggie’s mother, who is also the narrator of the story. The characterization of Mrs. Johnson and her surrounding symbolizes the way Mrs. Johnson and Maggie choose to live (more like only way they knew how to live). “…yard that Maggie and I made so clean and wavy” (Walker) Mrs. Johnson awaiting for Dee speaks about the cleanliness of the yard, importance on the yard being so clean points to how she and Maggie have an attachment to the yard and their house. Narrator goes on to say “not just a yard. It like an extended living room” (Walker) verifying that this was not just a yard but also a part of a home. Then she moves on to describing her physical appearance by saying “a large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands” (Walker) conventionally she is pointing out that she knows she is big and comfortable with it also when she mentions keeping her warm in cold temperature, this gives the impression that Walker wanted to symbolize where Mrs. Johnson stands when it comes to her culture. And that was comfortable and at home. Dee’s sister Maggie as the mother

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