These stories are both about African American families that learn about true family ties while in the midst of day to day conflicts and just trying to get by. Mama and Maggie are very invested in their family traditions and they prefer to live simply.
There had been a fire ten or twelve years before that had harmed Mrs. As the story goes on, the reader comes to understand that it was what it meant livingin such a As the story goes on, the reader comes to understand that it was what it meant living in such a house that Dee hated, more than the house itself.
Dee would never be satisfied to live in such a place, or have the meager life her mother and sister have. Johnson has had a difficult life. There is no mention of having a husband to help her on her homestead. Quite matter-of-factly, she acknowledges with some pride that she can "kill and clean a hog as mercilessly as a man.
Not a complainer, she has done what needed to be done. Johnson is a realist; she is also comfortable with who she is. Maggie is almost the shadow of a person. She is quiet and unassuming. She has the posture of one who hopes not to be noticed. Dee, on the other hand, has been a force to be reckoned with since she was young.
She is more attractive than her sister. She was the one to leave home after her mother and the church put together the funds to send her to school in Augusta. She learned, then and forced her learning on her uneducated mother and sister— Dee showed no desire to help her mother or sister advance through learning, but wants to control them with what she knew.
It demonstrates how far removed the life she lives is from that of her past and her family. Dee wanted nice things. Her clothes, though gifted to her mother and worn before, were transformed so that Dee was proud to wear them, as they transformed her from a country girl to a woman with prospects: At sixteen she had a style of her own: Now Dee comes to visit and makes a dramatic entrance.
Not only is she wearing long and flowing African garb and real gold jewelry at her ears and on her wrists, but she also carries herself like a princess. She takes a photo of the place, and another of her mother and sister. Like an outsider looking in, she has no connection with these people or her ancestors.
Dee arrives with grace and style. With her is a stocky man who tells them to call him Hakim-a-barber. As they approach, Mrs. Johnson addresses her daughter by her name. However, Dee corrects her and tells her that her name is now "Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo," and that Dee "is dead. Changing her name is just another way in which Dee has attempted to break away from her family and its far-distant past.
While she may express the need to remove herself from a young woman descended from slaves, she seems more embarrassed than entitled in her new "position" in the world.
She sees no value in things that belonged to her grandmother or mother except as they can be used to promote the new identity she has created.
The benches and the butter dish are not worthwhile because they were hand-made by someone in the family, but because they will fit nicely in her new home—which is an extension of her new identity.
Both have been created in the image Dee wishes to adopt for herself: There is nothing to connect her to the men and women who came before her, making her personal transition possible in the first place. She has no regard for her mother who worked so hard to provide Dee with a home, and managed to send Dee away to school.
She has no compassion for her injured sister. Dee changed her name because she was ashamed of where she came from and did not want to be known as a poor kid that started out in hand-me-downs.Dee informs her mother and sister that “Dee is dead” and she has adopted a new name, “Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo.” (pg.
___). She explains that her previous name was a symbolic reminder of the oppression experienced by her people. In Walker's "Everyday Use," Dee, by the time she visits Maggie and her mother, is an urban black woman and represents blacks who moved to cultural centers and became well-educated and articulate.
Dee is accompanied by a short stocky man with long hair and a beard stretching down from his chin like a “kinky mule tail.” Dee has renamed herself “Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo,” rejecting what she sees as being named after her oppressors.
Christine ed. "Everyday Use Summary and Analysis II". GradeSaver, 28 August Web.
Cite. After announcing that she has changed her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo she says, “I couldn’t bear it any longer, being named after the people that oppress me.” (Walker, p) Dee continues to harp on the point even after Mama explains that Dee was named after other family members.
Feb 05, · In the short story “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, Dee’s actions are clearly attributed to her over and under development in specific mental zones. Dee, rather Wangero as she prefers being called, suffers from an overdeveloped id, a distorted sense of ego, and an underdeveloped superego.
Symbolism in Everyday Use Essay. Symbolism of the Quilt In the story “Everyday Use”, Alice Walker focuses on how important heritage and culture can really be in our world today - Symbolism in Everyday Use Essay introduction.
In doing this Walker uses symbolism, and two different points of view to help us understand the importance of it all.