Fiction Assigment

In: English and Literature

Submitted By kittykatkelly
Words 929
Pages 4
Laquedia Kelly
English 1102 MWF
Professor Wruz
20 March 2014 EVERYDAY USE Alice walker
Alice walker’s “Everyday Use” is a story about the differences of a family split between tradition/heritage and the allure of dreaming big. Told in 1st person point of view, the narrator is the matriarch of the family dubbed “mama” throughout the story. The narrator’s name is never revealed because her role as speaker, through lengthy inner monologues, diminishes the “true focus” of the story which is on Maggie and Dee, “Mama’s” two daughters. So, to counteract this problem the author doesn’t give Mama a name thereby shifting focus to the interactions between the daughters. Race plays a major part of this story as the author capitalizes on the idea of heritage; however, she does not let it overwhelm the plot, slowly dropping subtle hints about their appearances/ race using situations of happenstance. She writes when explaining a thought, “Who can even imagine me looking a white man straight in the face” (590) and “Don’t ask me why: in 1927 colored ask fewer questions than they do now.” when explaining her reasons for never having a proper education. We find out over a span of a couple paragraphs that the characters are black.
Two worlds clash as the narrator guides us through the lives of her two daughters who are completely different, one living a life of “golden opportunity” the other a life of simplicity. The story opens as Mama is awaiting the arrival of her eldest daughter Dee, who is portrayed as materialistic with “No” being a word she never heard (589). In fact, the narrator uses imagery to describe this phenomenon, she writes “She used to read to us without pity; forcing words, lies, other folks’ habits, whole lives upon us two, sitting trapped and ignorant underneath her voice. She washed us in a river of make believe, burned us with a lot of…...

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