Behbud Muhammedzade Prepared by Niwar A. Obaid December 27, Introduction Alice Walker as a novelist, poet, short story writer, activist and feminist has built a well-known reputation worldwide. Everyday Use is one of her popular and wonderful short stories in which she addresses the predicament of African and Americans who were struggling to define their personal identities in cultural terms. The story goes around some issues of heritage which construct a conflict between the characters of the story, each with different point of views.
She reflects on the differences between Dee and Maggie, her youngest daughter, and knows that Maggie will be anxious around Dee and self-conscious.
Maggie was burned in a house fire that happened more than a decade ago, where Mama carried her out in her arms as Dee watched the house burn, but showed no emotion. The narrator continues to paint a picture of Maggie as helpless and rather awkward, whereas Dee is beautiful and seems to have had an easier time in life.
Mama discusses the physical differences between the three: When Dee finally arrives, she has also brought with her a man whom Mama refers to as Hakim-a-barber. Mama and Maggie are a little taken aback by Dee's wild-looking outfit and her African greeting to them.
Dee takes photos of Mama and Maggie in front of the house, and the greetings are stiff and unfamiliar. Dee informs her mother that she has now changed her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo in order to protest the oppression and cultural white washing Black Americans faced.
Mama rejects this, telling Dee she was named after her Aunt Dicie, who in turn was named after Grandma Dee, and that the name went on through the generations. Dee gives Mama the option of not using her new name and Mama concludes that Hakim-a-barber must be related to a family of Muslims down the road.
Hakim-a-barber says he accepts some of the doctrines of his beef-raising family, but is not interested in farming or herding as a profession.
Mama does not know whether Hakim-a-barber and Dee are married, and does not ask. Hakim-a-barber has a special diet to follow, but Dee digs in to the food Mama made. She begins asking for things around the house, like the top of a butter churn, and eventually she asks for two quilts as well.
She adds that Mama should try and improve, and that there is a new path for Black Americans to follow. Maggie and Mama sit in the yard after watching them drive off until bedtime. She seeks to embrace her cultural identity through changing her name from Dee to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo an African namemarrying a Muslim man, and acquiring artifacts from Mama's house to put on display, an approach that puts her at odds with Mama and Maggie.
She is very physically beautiful and is described as having a great sense of style. Mama — She is described as a "large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands. Maggie — Described by Mama as dull and unattractive, the youngest daughter Maggie has burn scars and marks from the burning down of their prior home, and is very nervous and self-conscious because of it.
She leads a simple and traditional life with her mother in the South while her elder sister, Dee, is away at school. She has very limited reading ability, unlike her sister Dee.
Eventually he tells Mama to call him "Hakim-a-barber" due to Mama being unable to pronounce his actual name. He is short and stocky and has long hair that reaches his waist and a long, bushy beard. We do not learn in the story whether they are dating, engaged, or married.
Themes[ edit ] One of the primary themes of "Everyday Use," is the idea of a person's relationship to their culture. In the story, Dee's mother remained close to immediate family traditions, while Dee herself chose to search more deeply into her African roots.
Because of her different mindset, she does not have the same ideals as Mama and Maggie, particularly in regard to cultural preservation and the best way to go about it. Christianthe story is discussed in reference to slavery and the black power movement.
The characters in the story focus a lot on African culture and heritage. Traditional African clothing is described throughout the story, and this is a symbol of the family's heritage.
The mentioning of changing names relates back to slavery as well; the characters were trying to forget about their slave names, and think of more traditional names to remember their culture and "[affirm] their African roots.
The essay describes Dee as an artist who "returns home Although she changes her name from Dee to a more Native African name and wears African clothing, she lacks real knowledge of her culture."Everyday Use" is a short story by Alice Walker that was first published in 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. Johnson, Dee’s mother and the story’s narrator. Use by Alice Walker. I will wait for her in the yard that Maggie and I made so clean and wavy yesterday afternoon.
A yard like this is more comfortable than most people know. In the short story "Everyday Use," by Alice Walker, the characters are Mama, Dee and Maggie.
Mama and Maggie have just swept the yard, awaiting a visit from Dee. Dee has been away at college. Sep 17, · The story “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker is a great example of an independent, strong, and hard working woman trying to bring up her daughter as best as she possibly can.
Dee and Maggie’s mom is a large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands. Rough Draft Of Everyday Use By Alice Walker Caleb Onwuka Mr. Michael Franco ENGL 06 January, “ Everyday Use ” - The African American Legacy Alice Walker, the author of “ Everyday Use ”, narrates a story of a family’s racial heritage and the .