African-American dance African-American dancelike other aspects of African-American culture, finds its earliest roots in the dances of the hundreds of African ethnic groups that made up African slaves in the Americas as well as influences from European sources in the United States. Dance in the African tradition, and thus in the tradition of slaves, was a part of both everyday life and special occasions.
Walker employs characterization and symbolism to highlight the difference between these interpretations and ultimately to uphold one of them, showing that culture and heritage are parts of daily life.
The opening of the story is largely involved in characterizing Mrs.
Her description of herself likewise shows a familiarity and comfort with her surroundings and with herself: Johnson is fundamentally at home with herself; she accepts who she is, and thus, Walker implies, where she stands in relation to her culture.
Johnson thinks of her as a sweet person, a daughter with whom she can sing songs at church. Most importantly, however, Maggie is, like her mother, at home in her traditions, and she honors the memory of her ancestors; for example, she is the daughter in the family who has learned how to quilt from her grandmother.
She is characterized by good looks, ambition, and education Mrs. Johnson, we are told, collects money at her church so that Dee can attend school. Dee, in other words, has moved towards other traditions that go against the traditions and heritage of her own family: Most obviously—and most importantly—the quilts that Mrs.
Most importantly, however, these fragments of the past are not simply representations in the sense of art objects; they are not removed from daily life.
After all, what is culture but what is home to us, just as Mrs.
Work Cited Walker, Alice. An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Kennedy and Dana Gioia.If you are a teacher searching for educational material, please visit PBS LearningMedia for a wide range of free digital resources spanning preschool through 12th grade.
PRIMO, the largest independent national magazine for and about Italian Americans, provides quality journalism on Italian American history, heritage, and achievements. PRIMO discusses topics of importance to Italian Americans with articles on Italian art, language, travel, food and wine.
Heritage in Everyday Use, by Alice Walker - Heritage is one of the most important factors that represents where a person came from. In “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, this short story characterizes not only the symbolism of heritage, but also separates the difference between what heritage really means and what it may be portrayed as.
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