Contact Us
Sign In / Sign Up for FREE
Go to advanced search...

Discuss character development in Everyday Use - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Alice Walker, the author of the story, uses this character to illustrate the way traditional life of Afro-Americans transforms. Dee represents the new way…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER95.3% of users find it useful
Discuss character development in Everyday Use
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Discuss character development in Everyday Use"

number Character Analysis of Dee As the story begins it becomes clear that Dee, one of its central characters, may be regarded a driving force of the plot. Alice Walker, the author of the story, uses this character to illustrate the way traditional life of Afro-Americans transforms. Dee represents the new way of thinking, while her mother and sister prefer to follow traditional lifestyle. Thus, the story describes confrontation between two worlds, the so called “progressive” and the “traditional” ones.
Readers see that Dee does not want to be a part of the traditional world. She wants to fence herself off it at any cost. She even decides to change her name, though its history may be traced back to the Civil War “I couldnt bear it any longer, being named after the people who oppress me”. Instead, she chooses name Wangero, which her mother finds difficult to pronounce. What Dee desires is to become a new person.
It becomes obvious that Dee’s mother and sister worship her. It is noticeable from the first lines. “Sometimes I dream a dream in which Dee and I are suddenly brought together on a TV program of this sort” acknowledges her mother. What she wants is to achieve her daughter’s approval. At the same time, Dee is unlikely to desire it. What she seeks seems to be attention and personal meaning. Even more, she seems to behave like a selfish, arrogant, and insensitive person.
The story is told on behalf of Mama, that is why readers are not given an opportunity to trace the way Dee thinks. Instead, readers are offered to judge her by her actions, words, and relations to others. For example, these lines “At sixteen she had a style of her own: and knew what style was”. It says a lot about a girl who comes from a family which leads a labor-intensive life. “In real life I am a large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands” that is how Mama describes herself. At the very beginning readers understand that Dee is totally different.
She wants to be a part of idealistic Africa. Consequently, she rejects actual experience and severe realities that Afro-Americans face. That is what unites her with Hakim-a-barber. This couple stands in stark contrast to Dee’s mother and sister. At the same time, readers may only guess what kind of relationships Dee has with this man. “They didnt tell me, and I didnt ask, whether Wangero (Dee) had really gone and married him” comments Mama.
It is clear that Maggie and Mama cannot let themselves live in a world of illusions. At the same time, rustic realism of their world becomes a ploy for Dee. “Thats it!” she said, “I knew there was something I wanted to ask you if I could have”. She behaves as if she is a true lover of antiques. “Maggie cant appreciate these quilts!" exclaims Dee when she tries to prove that a thing of everyday use may turn into true valuables.
She takes pictures of her own house as if it is a museum piece. “She never takes a shot without making sure the house is included” that is what Mama notices when Dee is taking photos with her Polaroid. An outside observer may think Dee is just a tourist, or at least a guest, but not a family member. Thus, Walker uses Dee’s character to show how people forget their own roots, heritage, and family. Instead of due respect and honor Dee demonstrates condescension and insensitiveness. She strongly believes she is above Mama and Maggie.
Works Cited
Walker, Alice. Everyday Use. The Story and Its Writer. Ed. Anna Charters. Compact 8th ed. Boston: Bedfor/St. Martins, 2011. 852-858. Print. Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Discuss character development in Everyday Use Essay”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(Discuss Character Development in Everyday Use Essay)
“Discuss Character Development in Everyday Use Essay”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Discuss character development in Everyday Use

Everyday Use

... African American culture mainly because she views African culture and way of living as an idealistic one. However, from the view of Nettie, it is clear that Africa is also not an idealistic place, and does not provide any major improvement than America. 4. Comparison between Dead Men's Path and “Everyday Use” It is through the characters of the stories, that the theme of cultural conflicts is presented. In the story "Dead Men's Path" by Achebe, the protagonist Obi is a headmaster who believes in modern thinking. He modernizes the school by improving the teaching standards and also by developing a beautiful garden in the school compound. However, he is outraged to see an old woman walking through the hedges and marigold flower bed...
8 Pages(2000 words)Research Paper

Alice Walker's Everyday Use

...?Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” Maggie and Dee are two very distinct, unique people despite being sisters, which is perhaps the only thing that they have in common with one another. While Maggie is a shy, uncertain girl who attempts to remain invisible while her older sister is around, Dee is an outgoing, strong young woman who wants to always be noticed. In her attempts to be accepted by her sister, Maggie agrees to everything that Dee has to say. Dee takes advantage of this, using every opportunity she has to point out what is wrong in both her sister’s life, comparing Maggie to her own apparently successful life. Maggie is comfortable with who she is as a person and is proud of her family’s heritage. While she may be self-conscious...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay

Everyday Use by: Alice Walker

... Contents 3 Thesis ment 3 Introduction 4 Conservatism 4 Liberalism 5 Cultural Conflict 6 Methodology 6 Results 7 Everyday Use 8 Work cited 9 Abstract Cultural discrepancies stem from the different views of individuals. These views are developed from individual personalities and influence of the society one is living in. Often the differences are usually the cause of cultural conflicts. The social aspect of humans is founded on the values and beliefs they hold. When a group of people do not share collective values, beliefs and norms they tend to conflict. In the short story by Alice Walker, the two daughters hold contrasting heritages and identities. The conflict between the two characters can be identified from the beliefs and the values...
4 Pages(1000 words)Research Paper

Everyday Use by Alice Walker

... “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker When there is a clash of ideas and cultures because of the distances between family members it is often observed that the family takes time to get used to the individual’s perception towards life which has been colored with the outside world. “Everyday Use” is a story about how Mama’s eldest child Dee undergoes a rebellious transformation to understand her own African American heritage. Her identity crisis has more to do with her family’s decision to send her away from the community to gain education. Alice Walker, the author of this story is considered to be a highly acclaimed writer of the contemporary black women lives. Walker reflects upon the Southern life of Black people as a result of white oppression...
4 Pages(1000 words)Research Paper

Everyday Use by Alice Walker

...?“Everyday Use” by Alice Walker In Alice Walker’s short story, “Everyday Use,” Mama finds herself in a tough position as her eldest daughter Dee wants to claim the family quilts that Mama promised to Maggie, her youngest daughter. The quilts are family heirlooms, having been made by Mama and Aunt Dicie with material from the clothes of family members who served in the Civil War. After deliberating and trying to understand the personas of both of her daughters, Mama determined that she had made the right choice in promising the quilts to Maggie. Not only would Maggie put the quilts to everyday use, which is what they were intended for, but she is also aware that the only importance of the quilts is that they were made by family; therefore...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Everyday use

... The Value of Family Heritage to Mama In “Everyday Use,” the tells about a story revolving around a mother and her two daughters. These share conflicting ideas and perspectives about their identity and ancestry, even though they are members of the same family. The mother is a happy woman, who loves her life and is proud of it despite the fact that she is not endowed with wealth. On the other hand, Dee is different from her mother. Unlike her mother and her younger sister, Dee is educated, and considers herself to be in control of her life, with the capability of doing and getting anything she wants. For instance, Mama says, “Dee wanted nice things. . . Often I fought off the temptation to shake her. At sixteen she had a style all her own...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Everyday Use by Alice

... and finally develop a thesis based on the class readings synthesis. First, there are paradigms in chivalric romances in “Everyday Use” by Alice walker who want the same quilt with Thomas Kuhn’s discussion of paradigms because it is handmade. This they say is the family heritage and whoever keeps it wins the order of the day as the leader of the family. Through the story, we should consider the paradigms in the same way that Kuhn considers the process of science because Alice makes expressions of her feelings about her heritage even though Kuhn advices that we should be careful that he does not believe that the process of science follows a teleological course. It is not easy for two sisters to fight over possession of a handmade quilt...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Alice Walker Everyday Use

... Alice Walker’s Everyday Use. Alice Walker’s short story, Everyday Use, centers round a mother and her two daughters, Dee and Maggie, who are contrasts in appearance, personality and attitude. The narrative is a telling commentary on what constitutes genuine heritage. Walker uses the different attitudes of Dee and Maggie to show that heritage is truly cherished when it is a part of everyday life and not just exhibited as an external decoration. Judging by external appearances, it is Dee who seems to be proudly conscious of her heritage. Her dress and her hair, with its’ deliberately emphasized African style, are defiant statements of identity, as is her change of name. However, a deeper reading makes it clear that becoming “Wangero...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

The character Dee walker,alice everyday use

... Everyday Use: Dee’s Rejection of her Heritage. Alice Walker’s evocative short story, Everyday Use, centers round a Mother, who is the narrator, and her two daughters, Maggie and Dee. Walker skillfully uses the contrasting appearances, personalities and attitudes of the two girls to give a telling commentary on what constitutes genuine heritage. 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 that she is consciously proud of her heritage. She is the successful daughter, “the child who has made it” (Walker, Para. 3) and carved a place...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Character Development

... and succumbs to heart attack, while many feel she is excited of the appearance of her husband. She appears to be an independent hypocritical woman (Chopin 1-4). On the other hand, Calixta is one of the main characters in Chopin’s “the storm.” Unlike her son Bibi and her husband Bobinot who are worried of her safety during a heavy storm, she is uneasy about them and is glad when an old boyfriend, Alcee, arrives and they make love (Chopin 4). She is glad when her son and son arrive after the storm after Alcee left. Just like Louise, Calixta seems to be hypocritical and wary of her independence. The development of the two character points out to the key messages of the two stories. In ‘the story of an hour’, character-description provides us...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic Discuss character development in Everyday Use for FREE!

Contact Us