Plot of Everyday Use by Alice Walker

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At the beginning of the plot of “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, the narrator, who we later find out is “Mama” or Mrs. Johnson, begins to tell the reader using first-person narration that she is waiting in the yard, which is “like an extended living room.” She moves away from her description of her yard to say that “Maggie will be nervous until her sister goes” because of her burn scars. She obviously feels inferior to this sister the reader has yet to meet who seems to have had many opportunities in life that Maggie did not. The narrator describes this unseen other daughter in terms of a TV show guest, implying that there is something stunning or glamorous about her. She says that she has had a dream in which she is on a TV show with her daughter and the host is congratulating her on raising such a fine girl as her daughter pins an orchid on her dress, a flower that the daughter has said she does not like because it is tacky. The narrator of “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker moves from her description of her dream to bring reality to light, saying in one of the important quotes from “Everyday Use” by Walker, “In real life I am a large, big-boned woman with rough man-working hands” and discusses how hard she works around her property, often comparing herself to a man or masculine things such as killing and cleaning hogs, wearing flannel pajamas, and killing a bull calf with a sledge hammer. This imagery of this immense man-like woman stands in sharp contrast to the glittering image of her appearing on the Johnny Carson show is a feminine dress with a flower on it. As one of the major themes in “Everyday Use” contrasting ways of life and thinking is embodied by these opposing images and set the stage for the later conflict between the rural versus urban paradigm that is more developed as the story continues. To make matters more complex, this paragraph about the
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