Everyday Use By Alice Walker Essay Research 3

Everyday Use, By Alice Walker Essay, Research Paper Heritage is an important factor to every developing family. Heritage helps to develop a persons values showing

Everyday Use, By Alice Walker Essay, Research Paper

Heritage is an important factor to every developing family. Heritage helps to develop a persons values showing

what they believe in. Particularly about the values of their family. In the story Everyday Use, by Alice Walker,

value of heritage is a main topic. Throughout this story there are many different words used to describe what

Wangero (Dee), Maggie, and their mother value. These choices of words all play an important role in the

contrasting values of these people and the battle over heritage. The mother of Wangero and Maggie is the

narrator of this story. It is evident at the beginning of this story, when the narrator describes her clean yard as an

extended living room, that she is proud of her home. Her house is somewhat of a shanty, meaning well run down

and not very luxurious. Being proud of her home shows that she values what she has and doesn’t complain about

not living in luxury. The narrator also shows that she believes in having a close family. This is evident when she

describes a dream of hers. The dream is about being on a TV program where Dee, her daughter also known as

Wangero, comes on and hugs her; telling her how she appreciates all she has done. This experience of the hug in

public shows that she values her daughter being close to her. This hug being in public shows that the narrator

wants the world to see the family’s interconnectedness. The narrator also shows her closeness with her other

daughter Maggie, later in the story, by referring to her as “my Maggie.” The mother also demonstrates a strong

value in hardwork. This value of hardwork is proven when she describes herself as a women who can hunt and

work outside all day. She is a single mother and it is apparent that she is devoted to her family because of how

hard she works to support their needs. Maggie is the youngest daughter of the narrator; she has many of the same

values as her mother. She was burned in a fire at a young age and is ashamed of her appearance. She is often

intimidated by her older sister which is confirmed when Dee arrives to visit and Maggie attempts to run into the

house. The intimidation is a result of Maggie’s belief that Dee gets whatever she wants and is not accustomed to

the word no. Maggie’s main value is her heritage. She appreciates things made by her ancestors. She also has

knowledge about her ancestry. An example of this knowledge is when Dee asks to have a dasher. When asked if

Uncle Buddy whittled the dasher Maggie is quick to respond “Aunt Dee’s first husband whittled the dash; his

name was Henry but they called him Stash.” Showing that Maggie knows who did what and appreciates the

accomplishments of her relatives. Dee, on the other hand, is very different from Maggie and her mother. She has

been put through college and is well educated as a result. Dee returns to visit her mother and asks for several

objects within the house. Her value of heritage seems to serve more as a memory of where she came from, rather

than an appreciation of her family’s achievements. She asks for household objects such as a butter churn top, a

dasher, and some old quilts. She wants to use these objects for different purposes than what they were originally

for which exhibits that she doesn’t appreciate their uses and is more accustomed to higher luxuries. Another

factor that shows Dee’s disrespect of her heritage is her name change. She changes her name to Wangero maybe

suggesting a change in religion. When Dee is asked by her mother why she changed her name Dee replies, “I

couldn’t bear it any longer, being named after the people who oppress me.” Her mother then tells her she was

named after her Aunt Dicie, but Dee continues to argue about the name. Obviously Wangero is not happy with

her family name showing a lack respect for her ancestors. The mother gives in and says she will call her by Wangero, letting us know that she is only concerned about her family being happy. The choice of words a person

uses can portray the values they have. Choice of words can often reveal intelligence, anger, respect, or

disrespect. When referring to an individual heritage, choice of words is important. From words used by someone

to describe their heritage we can tell how they feel about issues pertaining to their family. In this story the choice

of words used by the narrator and Maggie show their respect for where they came from. Wangero’s choice of

words, however, shows that she is not happy with her heritage and suggests that she wants to develop a new

heritage of her own. The choice of words in this family obviously plays on important role in the battle over

heritage. My papers weaknesses are its contrasting moments. I believe my papers strengths are its view on many

different people and it explains each one. I also believe that I am getting better on my conclusions which has

seemed to be my weakness.