Research Project eng

Research Project eng - Medeiros 1 Sofia Medeiros Dr....

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Medeiros 1 Sofia Medeiros Dr. McBride ENG 112 30 September, 2008 An Analysis of “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker Since the short story "Everyday Use" contains several important parallels to the author's life, I judge important to start this analyze talking about Alice Walker’s life. She was born in 1944 in Eatonton, Georgia, and grew up in an environment much like that described in the story. Her parents were both sharecroppers, her family lived in a rundown shack, and racial segregation was legally enforced, prompting the author to describe the times as America's own era of apartheid. Like Maggie Johnson, Walker was disfigured as a child. A gunshot wound left her blind in one eye; she became shy and withdrew into her own world of reading and writing. Like Dee Johnson, Walker's abilities garnered her a scholarship to Spellman College, which led her away from her poverty-stricken background to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1961. These were especially turbulent time for African Americans, what encouraged Walker to participate in civil rights demonstrations and she was even invited to Martin Luther King Jr’s home because she had attended to Youth World Peace Festival in Helsinki, Finland. Walker has taught African American women's studies to college students at Wellesley, the University of Massachusetts at Boston, Yale, Brandeis, and the University of California at Berkeley. She supports antinuclear and environmental causes, and her protests against the oppressive rituals of female circumcision in
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Medeiros 2 Africa and the Middle East make her a vocal advocate for international women's rights. The “Everyday Use” is a short story narrated in first person by the character of Mama, and it talks about the story and behaviors of this family, composed by Mama, Dee the oldest daughter, and Maggie the youngest one. They are a poor family which had their previous house burned and now are living in another house. Dee moves to another town to study, she gets married and there she lives a completely different life from that one that your mother and sister live. One day she came for a visit, which finishes in a disagreement between her and her family, and it is in this day that the author composes the climax of the story. By reading the story, it is understood that the author uses the symbolism to make several references to the image of animals in the story; “Have you ever seen a lame animal, perhaps a dog run over by some careless person rich enough to own a car, sidle up to someone who is ignorant enough to be kind to him? That is the way my Maggie walks.” (Walker) That is one of the ways that Mama describes Maggie, although as a docile, somewhat scared animal. She was the daughter who always accepted everything without any questions or complaints. In some point of the story, Mama says that Maggie has been like this, “chin on chest, eyes on ground, feet in shuffle, ever since the fire that burned the other house to the ground” (Walker). The trauma suffered by the girl in the day of the fire made her became a quite girl, with
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This note was uploaded on 03/16/2011 for the course ENG 212 taught by Professor Dr. during the Spring '11 term at Mt. Olive.

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Research Project eng - Medeiros 1 Sofia Medeiros Dr....

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