Every day use is a short story written by Alice Walker presenting numerous challenges faced by black women within the American society. It is first person narration by Mama, the main character, and mother to two daughters. …
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The setting occurs in the residence of mama and her daughters where they currently live with her younger daughter. With the expected homecoming of the elder daughter, Dee, they make preparations aimed at ensuring proper reception for expected visitors. The story remains total fiction, which is effectively utilised in delivering the desired message form the author. The author utilises fiction in depicting the meaning of culture and the power of education, while having humour and irony within the story. The story presents the difference in heritage within family members, who shared similar cultural values while residing together. The visiting daughter changes name from Dee to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo, a name which she cannot explain its origin. She claims that Dee is dead depicting the death of cultural heritage. Through the actions and behaviours displayed by the elder daughter, heritage becomes nullified and its existence ignored by the character. Mama explains the origins of the family name, running through many generations, and appears hurt by the daughter’s failure to understand the importance and meaning of heritage within the setting of the story. Dee desires family quilts, which she views as artefacts of dead heritage. While desiring these articles, she intends to utilise them as wall hangings, which further displays her misunderstanding of meaning of family heritage. She even tries to speak a language she cannot understand.
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They both have the lead characters or protagonists black women who are victims to partiality because of their black color. They endure extreme suffering and hardships throughout their lives and as they are being raised in a bigotry society, the context is more striking.
The plot and settings of the short narrative is based on the return of Dee, who is thought to be successful due to the education she has received. Her mother’s imaginary hopes are that her daughter will return home a grateful woman, for all her mother has done to ensure that she receives a good education.
Other basic needs such as education and healthcare were also hard to come by. In light of the person she is now, her achievements and failures, one can see a non-mistakable loom of the Jim Crow era in her life even in the present times. The sharecropper status her father held had a number of implications in relation to black families.
Some of the social characters often used for racial classification are nationality, tribe, religious faith, shared language, culture, and traditions. Gordimer’s ‘Country Lovers’ revolves around two lovers; an interracial couple forbidden to be together by the laws of South Africa during apartheid.
Racism can also be defined as the conviction that a particular race is better or more substandard than another, that one’s social and good individualities is predestined by his or her innate biological characteristics. It has influenced wars, slavery, the creation of nations, and legal codes.
Today, Alice Walker is one of the best-known and most highly respected writers in the US, but in or-der to better understand her creative work, one is to know the biography of the writer: Walker’s characters and images are inseparable from her own experiences. Alice was born in Eatonton, Georgia, the eighth and last child of Willie Lee and Minnie Lou Grant Walker.
In this regard, in contrast to full-fledged novels that allow for a prolonged development of its personages, the genre of short stories seems to be quite constrained in its space to be able to slowly develop its plot. However, as can be seen on the example of the short story "Everyday Use" written by Alice Malsenior Walker, a compelling and emotionally exciting narration can be presented even within limits of just few pages.
Both writers have used this skill to great effect in their stories.
In Everyday Use, Walker presents the reader with a study of heritage (White, 2001), and how it can be interpreted and contextualized by the value we place on objects and the uses we put them to.
As a result, she spent most of her younger years with a disfigurement that followed her until high school, when the problem was corrected. She worked well in school, despite her handicap, and was distinguished at the end of her high school career by the title of valedictorian (Women's History).