Amar Ibrahim- Alice Walker-Everyday Use Questions -...

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Identify and assess the significance of the use of any (or all) of the following: imagery, symbols, narrative point of view, irony, tone, ambiguity.“There are yellows and oranges enough to throw back the light of the sun. I feel my whole face warming from the heat waves it throws out. Earrings gold, too, and hanging down to her shoulders. Bracelets dangling and making noises when she moves her arm up to shake the folds of the dress out of her armpits. The dress is loose and flows, and as she walks closer, I like it. I hear Maggie go ‘Uhnnnh’ again. It is her sister's hair. It stands straight up like the wool on a sheep.It is black as night and around the edges are two long pigtails that rope about like small lizards disappearing behind her ears.” The dress symbolises that she is vain, and also that she is more elegant than the mother and Maggie, who lack this glamour.How does Dee’s desire for material things affect her relationship with her family?Dee changed her name to an African name and she starts wearing more cultural clothing. She states she does not want to be named after the people who oppressed her ancestors. This creates separation between Dee and her family. Dee also wants to collect artifacts from her ancestor’s culture. She views them as art pieces, rather than as historic objects. The mother says, “I did something I never had done before: hugged Maggie to me, then dragged her on into the room, snatched the quilts out of Miss Wangero's hands and dumped them into Maggie's lap. Maggie just sat there on my bed with her mouth open.” Dee leaves, and hence her desire clearly negatively impacts her relationship with her family.What role do social institutions (religion, education, etc.) play in the development of Dee’s privilege?Dee is more educated than her mother. The reader can infer that she learned about her ancestors, as she changes her name to avoid being called by the name of those who oppressed them.Many african americans were taken as slaves, and given names from their masters. Without this knowledge, Dee would not have developed feelings towards her ancestors.
What separates Dee’s new found privilege from her family’s apparent poverty?

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