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Everyday Use by Alice Walker - Book Report/Review Example

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This review " Everyday Use by Alice Walker " discusses the story which is set against a background of abject poverty, where the mother has to do manly jobs to survive in a man dominated world, in order to give decent upbringing her daughters Maria and Dee…
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Everyday Use by Alice Walker
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Everyday Use’ written by Alice Walker, a Pulitzer Prize winner, is an incredibly frank and open account of two daughters who are diametrically opposite in character and behaviour. The story is set against a background of abject poverty, where the mother has to do manly jobs to survive in a man dominated world, in order to give decent upbringing her daughters Maria and Dee. The setting and the atmosphere of the story are significant features because they represent the duality of characters of the people living in the place and their apathetic attitude to move upward in the social ladder as a result of their poverty.
On the other hand, if the setting is changed to a penthouse in Los Angeles, the characters of the story would probably, exhibit much more blasé’ attitude towards life and relationship. The penthouse epitomizes wealth and thus the value system of the family would not be grounded to earth, displaying a careless attitude towards familial ties and genuine concern for each other. Their superficial lifestyle would dictate their actions and behaviour in public which might be totally at odds with their nature and general attitude towards things and people.
In the new circumstances, the mother would appreciate and get along better with Dee as she is more inclined to climb social ladder with her ambitious nature and inherent tendencies for ruthlessness who would not hesitate in crushing the weak to reach her goal. The mother would be impatient with the timid and sensitive Maggie and would probably keep berating her for lack of confidence and other shortcomings. Despite her big built and manly disposition, the mother would be carelessly proud of her physical stature and make sure that it becomes recognized as her style statement.
Dee would grow up to be highly fashion centric person who would also be extremely self-centered because of her good looks. She would show all the characteristics of a spoiled rich girl who would continuously desire what others have. Supported by a mother who promotes her shallow aims and objectives, Dee would symbolize the degenerating values of the rich for whom wealth dominates decent human values, including love and relationships. Her material goods and artificial lifestyle would bespeak of her shallow personality that depends on the fragile covering of the modern day Cinderella that can be shorn away with very little effort.
Maggie would probably be the only character in the story that would not much change. Though still timid, she would show strong character traits by sticking to her principles and would continue to accede to the wishes of her mother and sister albeit in things which may not have much significance on a wider context. Grandmother’s quilts would be precious for her not because they are hand-woven but because they were made by her grandmother. Riches would not sway her from the path that leads towards love and fruitful relationships but she would use it to find true happiness for her. Read More
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