Scholarly Article Annotation (Everyday Use/Alice Walker) - Essay Example

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The article “Destroying to Save: Idealism and Pragmatism in Alice Walkers "Everyday Use” by Joe Sarnowski tells about the difficult and ambivalent nature of American culture - the combination of pragmatism and idealism. The author suggests that it is this complex mix of…
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Scholarly Article Annotation (Everyday Use/Alice Walker)
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Scholarly Article Annotation The article “Destroying to Save: Idealism and Pragmatism in Alice Walkers "Everyday Use” by Joe Sarnowski tells about the difficult and ambivalent nature of American culture - the combination of pragmatism and idealism. The author suggests that it is this complex mix of absolutely opposite directions that causes numerous problems for the whole nation generally. Pragmatism presupposes taking feasible and attainable actions considering the real situation while idealism presupposes pursuing perfection in any possible way (2012). This ambivalence is observed in American politics, mentality, and culture. However, the author claims that is important to deny the existence of pure idealism and pragmatism because they are interconnected. On the one hand, these two concepts have the possibility of tearing apart anyone who pursues them because of their extreme opposition. On the other hand, if looking for a consensus this combination of pragmatism and idealism can give a necessary impact for development (Sarnowski, 2012).
Education is not just the skills in the certain sphere of knowledge, it is a constant training for the mind. Education gives a person a broader perception of the world, and ability to see phenomena from different perspectives. People who were able to receive education will be able to combine idealism ad pragmatism in their relationships and attitude to the world successfully, and it will help the nation cope with ambivalence caused by these two opposite concepts.
In this story several characters are torn between pragmatism and idealism. Dee/Wangero is the brightest example because she changes her name to fit in the new culture, driven by idealism (a change of the name – a new life). Her boyfriend also uses religion as the means of idealism. Inability to adjust to a new society makes these characters stuck between ideal and pragmatic.
Sarnowski, J. (2012).Destroying to save: Idealism and pragmatism in Alice Walkers "Everyday Use, Papers on Language and Literature, 48(3). Read More
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