Everyday Use Essay

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Everyday Use Essay (I believe we didn’t set a better question last time) Black-American cultural heritage is a crucial theme in Everyday Use, a short story by Alice Walker. Throughout the story, Alice Walker uses three characters to represent three kinds of views of the Black-American History. Mama narrates the story. She is described as a “large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands.”. She “can kill and clean a hog as mercilessly as a man.”. She “never had an education” herself. She is typical of Blacks’ generation during the early 1900s, when the Blacks were under slavery. Blacks during this age rarely gain an education, which is the attribution to their pragmatism in their character as well as their strength physically. Because of the pragmatism, she thinks Dee “burned us with a lot of knowledge we didn’t; necessarily need to know.” when she(Dee) reads to Maggie and herself (Mama). Because of the education, she has not the sense of high cultural art. For example, when she predicts Maggie and John Thomas’s wedding scene, she thinks of herself being “free to sit here and I guess just sing church songs to myself. Although I never was a good singer. Never could carry a tune.” As a result, she tends to emphasise her physical strength, like “I was always better at a man’s job.” for self-assertion perhaps. Dee is Mama’s elder daughter. She is bright, confident to the point of audacious and hypocritical. From quotes like “Dee wanted nice things” and “She always look anyone in the eye.”, the features above can be slightly seen. She is the modernisation’s beneficiary who receives a formal education. However, it has not helped her build a good character. She hates the burned house and in some way despises Mama and Maggie, her younger sister. Mama describes Dee as “a look of concentration on her face as she watched the last dingy gray board of the house fall

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