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Essay about everyday use

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Kiswana is dedicated to a movement that advocates pride in being black, rather than a conformance to white normativity. Dee only sees her African American history as negative, while Mama sees it as her pride and what allows her to continue to persevere. Dee cannot fathom that her name has any importance and ironically chooses to change it to Wangero because it is more like her African culture. Dee simply cannot see that her African American culture is still in existence, but rather she sees it as a bunch of artifacts.
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Free Everyday Use Essays and Papers

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"Everyday Use" by Alice Walker Essay - Free Essay Example | dife.info

Please join StudyMode to read the full document. Like the items in the setting around her, she seems more interested in practicality, and less interested in aesthetics. Mama fantasizes about reunion scenes on television programs in which a successful daughter embraces the parents who have made her success possible. When Dee arrived she was not the person Mama hoped to see. She had another name and she was married to a Muslim, so she had become a Muslim herself which made her see all the old items as a part of her heritage. Dee had moved away to attend a college in Augusta.
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The story evolves around one daughter, Dee, coming back home to visit her family. As one is introduced to the characters in "Everyday Use", it becomes apparent that the two sisters, Maggie and Dee, are very different. Maggie is portrayed as a homely and ignorant girl, while Dee is portrayed as a beautiful and educated woman. The story goes beyond these differences, though, to deal mainly with the way in which the two sisters value their heritage.
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It was first published in and is part of Walker's short story collection In Love and Trouble. The short story is told in first person by "Mama", an African-American woman living in the Deep South with one of her two daughters. The story follows the difference between Mrs. Johnson and her shy younger daughter Maggie, who both still adhere to traditional black culture in the rural South, and her educated, successful daughter Dee, or "Wangero" as she prefers to be called, who takes a different route to reclaiming her cultural identity.
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