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"live your life like it is your last day" - Tomhellewell

Analysis of Everyday Use

  • Date Submitted: 11/22/2010 02:28 PM
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Kelsey Starling
Professor Owens
Modern English Composition 1102
22 October 2010
What are people’s beliefs? A belief is something to trust or believe in. Whether it is religion, morals, or heritage, people’s beliefs are very important to them. The story “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker explains the Native Americans’ belief in their heritage. It shows how deeply rooted and important their culture is and how they live to honor and respect their ancestors. Their lives also revolve around tradition. They have great respect for the ancestors that handed down their heritage, and it is very disrespectful to deny this handed down heritage. I agree with Mama in “Everyday Use” because she greatly appreciates her belief in the Native American culture and tradition. Mama likes to live by tradition and becomes upset when one of her daughters disrespects her heritage.
The mother in “Everyday Use” is shown as a very traditional woman. She is very hard-working and is happy with everything in her life. Although her life is not luxurious, she is still very content and loves everything about it because it is from her heritage. Mama had a small house just like her ancestors did and worked just as hard as any man would, “In real life I am a large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands” (Walker 370). She also taught her two daughters, Dee and Maggie, the tradition she was accustomed to.
Mama loved both of her daughters very much, but the two girls were different in many ways. Dee is very selfish and denies her culture by the end of the story. However, her sister, Maggie, is very proud of her culture just like her mother. During the story, Dee moves away from her family to get an education. Later, she visits but comes back only to take the family heirloom quilts. She wants these quilts for decorations. The mother was extremely insulted by Dee’s purpose of these special heirlooms. The mother realizes the difference in her daughters when Dee rudely expects to take away the...


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