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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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
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Dee exhibits confidence to the point of arrogance, while Maggie has no shred of self-esteem in her. Dee also abhors their rural life, including their house, and during her younger days, desired the wealthier city life. Maggie, on the contrary, cherishes her rural life like her Mama.
Her current work under discussion came into limelight in the year 1973. The story revolves around a lady belonging to the ‘South’ and her two daughters. Based in the arena of the 60s and the 70s the story is an outcome of the emerging ‘Black’ socialist movements hat were all flared up in those years.
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.
Mama valued being capable and useful herself. Dee wanted to show off as part of her image as a Black American with status, power and new values. She was somehow materialistic and false. These precious items, in particular the quilts, were a metaphor for the differences in values and cultures between Dee/Wangaro on the one hand and Mama and Maggie on the other.
Dee’s external appearance gives the impression that she is proud of her heritage, but she has actually rejected her roots and exhibits her heritage only as an exotic accessory to her life.
Dee’s physical appearance is contrived to give the impression
People had to associate with the appropriate grouping or risk social ridicule. The commonly held notion was that the whites were superior to the African American community who therefore had to subordinate the