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Everyday Use by Alice Walker Analysis - Essay Example

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This essay provides a detailed analysis Alice Walker's short story "Everyday Use". The analysis briefly describes the main plot of the novel, discusses the main characters and their actions in order to fully understand the idea of the story…
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Everyday Use by Alice Walker Analysis
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Download file to see previous pages In pursuit of her identity, Dee changes her name and wishes that her mother now used the new name to address her. Dee totally severed her roots when she announced as Wangero that Dee was dead, as ‘I couldn’t bear it any longer, being named after the people who oppress me’. Such was her hatred towards her past. She chooses to be called by the new name, as she wants no connection with her past. At the same time, she wants to carry the churn lid and the dasher. This is not because she values her past or the ancestors; she proposes to use all of them as heritage but as a negative index to her status.
She also wants to carry the quilts with her to hang it on the walls. This is again a conflict, the double consciousness – the Blacks felt lost. It was a strife to attain the self – conscious manhood, according to DuBois (565).

Wangero’s character shows weakness as she attempts to restore a sense of identity, which was impaired by the wrongs on the Black people. DuBois confirms this when he highlights that ‘the doubtful striving has often made his very strength to lose effectiveness, to seem like absence of power, like weakness’ (565). In the process, she fails to appreciate how the African-Americans (through her mama’s character) have converted the wrongs into moral capital. On the contrary, she is ashamed of her mother and sister that they have decided to carry on as they are.

Walker through the character of mother acknowledges the hardships that the Blacks had to face to survive in a hostile environment. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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