Everyday Use For Everyday Things Essay

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Everyday Use for Everyday Things Everyday Use written by Alice Walker is a short story that analyzes the importance of one’s heritage between a mother and her two daughters. The mother and daughter Maggie are proud of their traditions and heritage such as making quilts and churning butter as normal everyday activities. On the other hand, the eldest daughter Dee seems to no longer cherish the very same traditions; as if she is ashamed of where she came from. The narrator, Ms. Johnson, describes herself by saying “I am large, big-boned woman with rough, man working hands. I can kill and clean a hog as merciless as a man” (Barnet, Cain, & Burto, 2011, pp. 1087-1093). She then begins to tell how she never had any education after second grade. The mother seems to take pride in the fact that she can clean a hog and knock a bull calf and string him up without an education. She had help from the church raising money to send Dee away to school; only to have Dee return and belittle her educational status. Dee’s dislike of her upbringing becomes more apparent as the story continues. You learn the younger daughter Maggie is “ashamed of the burn scars down her arms and legs” (Barnet, Cain, & Burto, 2011, pp. 1087-1093). Maggie received these burns when their house burned down. The same house the mother said “I see her standing off under the sweet gum tree she used to dig gum out of; a look of concentration on her face as she watched the last dingy board of the house fall in toward the red-hot brick chimney.” “She had hated the house that much” (Barnet, Cain, & Burto, 2011, pp. 1087-1093). The mother states “This house is in the pasture, too, like the other one. No doubt when Dee sees it she will want to tear it down. She wrote me once that no matter where we “choose” to live, she will manage to come see us. But she will never bring her friends” (Barnet, Cain, & Burto, 2011,

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