D1Zhang - The Meaning Everyday Use(1973 by Alice Walker is...

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The Meaning “Everyday Use”(1973) by Alice Walker is a short story about the differences between three African-American family members. Walker is an African American female writer and has won the Pulitzer Prize for Friction. As both African American and female identities, she feels double discriminations. Thus she started her activities and communicates with the world about the voice of people like her in her words. This story describes the situation in a family when one of the daughters come back home for a visit which showed the contradiction of the feminism and tradition. The philosophies of these family members are very different but are related intricately. However, by known what each side is doing and thinking, the idea of this story is that there should be a balance in this contradiction but not yet be found. People need to understand and find the true meaning of feminism and its role in the society. This story shows the meaning of feminism and the differences within African American people at that time. Walker describes and concludes the African American people’s confusions and contradictions in a normal family. Education, knowledge, and all the different concepts of history creates the roles in this history. The tradition of African American family and advanced ideas of feminism activities collide here and leave a big question to the society--which is the correct one? In this story, one of the daughter, Maggie, lives with her mom in a traditional way. She inherits the family tradition very well. She does housework and even “knows how to quilt”(Walker 481) which is one of the key traditions in African. Maggie learns these and
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is prepared to continue the traditions. She knows everything of her family, for example, when the barber, who seems to be the boyfriend of the other daughter Dee, asks about the history of a dasher, Maggie is the one answers his question, “Ant Dee’s first husband whittled the dash”(480), while Dee just “looked up at me(mom)”(480). However, though Maggie is cute and nice especially when at the beginning of the story she asks her mom “How do I look, Mama?”(477), it also shows the unconfident when she meets her sister, Dee. According to the memory of “Mama”, there’s a fire in their house, in which is the same one they live now. The fire hurt Maggie and makes her ugly while Dee is totally fine and seems happy about the fire. Maggie is not confident about the looking after then. Not only the looking, Dee goes to school far away from home and gets education which neither Mama nor Maggie have, makes Maggie feel shamed too. Maggie knows her position. “somebody used to never winning anything, or having anything reserved for her”(481). She knows Dee is the winner, always. Maggie inherit not only the tradition of African family, but also the philosophies.
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D1Zhang - The Meaning Everyday Use(1973 by Alice Walker is...

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