Everyday Use Essay

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Kintul Jordan English Comp 1 Ms. Tate 19 November 2012 Forgetting the Real Meaning of Heritage: An Analysis of Dee and the Search for Her African Roots Alice Walker, the youngest of eight children, was born on February 9, 1944, in Eatonton, Georgia. Like many of Walker’s characters in her stories, she was the daughter of a farmer who barely scratched out a living for his family. At age eight, Walker’s brother accidently shot her in the eye with a BB gun. Her partial blindness prevented her from participating in normal childhood activities; instead, she began writing poetry to ease her loneliness. She found that when writing, one must have peace and quiet, but it was not easy when ten people lived in four rooms. She spent most of her time outdoors, sitting under a tree, and writing. Every story she has written relates to her life in some form or fashion, but the story that relates to her the most is the short story “Everyday Use.” This story shows Walker’s definition of heritage and the importance of understanding the history and people behind the family’s heirlooms. Dee denies her true heritage and accepts her false African roots, which she believes, are her racial heritage. In the short story, “Everyday Use” there is three main characters: Mama, Maggie, and Dee. Mama is a very hard worker and strives to do the best she can for her two daughters; which reminds Walker of her father, he would do anything to help support his family. Mama guides us through the interactions of the two daughters and herself. Dee, the eldest of the two girls, gets all the attention in the town. She wants the nicer things and thinks that no one should ever tell her “No” (393). Their church raised money to send Dee away to boarding school where she gets ideas that she believes relate to her heritage. When she finally comes home for a brief visit, she steps out the car wearing a long

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