What Does It Profit A Man To Gain The World And Lo

1316 Words6 Pages
Frederick Koenig once wrote “We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” Wangero comes full circle in her recognition of her heritage and brings this quote to life in the short story “Everyday Use” written by Alice Walker. Walker confronts the question of what the true value is of one’s heritage and culture within the story. Greed can appear in many different forms, such as money, love, or knowledge. Through careful descriptions of the characters and setting in her story, we are introduced to a mother and two daughters, one of which (Dee) has gone off to college and the other (Maggie) has remained at home. Returning home from school with a new name, look, attitude, and man; Dee continuously finds reasons to insult the lifestyles of her mother and sister. Walker shows that one’s culture and heritage are represented by neither the possession of objects nor external appearances, but by one’s lifestyle and attitude. In this short story, Walker shows us how Dee was not only greedy with money but also with her heritage and had a total lack of regard for her family. It seems as if acquiring collegiate educated, she realizes that her heritage really has meaning in her life. Walker characterizes the different sides of culture and heritage in the characters of Dee (Wangero), her mother and sister -Maggie. Dee represents a materialistic, difficult, and contemporary way of life where culture and heritage are valued only for their fashionable and artistic appeal. Her mother represents a content, simple, and practical way of life where culture and heritage are valued both for its usefulness as well as its personal significance. And Maggie exemplifies a person that lacks self-confidence and esteem, she also lacks the ability to stand up for herself in a
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