Excerpt from Research Proposal: Cultural Impacts in Everyday Use The objective of this study is to examine the work of Alice Walker entitled "Everyday Use" and the how culture impacts values and material objects and the manner in which culture in reality impacts people and their lifestyle.
The work of Alice Walker entitled "Everyday Use" examines the connotations of culture on material objects. The story involves a woman named Dee who is disgusted with what she sees as a historical oppression in her own family. For this reason, Dee rejects her own cultural heritage and creates what she sees as a new cultural heritage in her own life.
In her story it is reported that Alice Walker "takes up what is a recurrent theme in her work: Dee is the only member of this family that is in receipt of a formal education. Dee and her male companion are reported to "return to visit Dee's mother and younger sister Maggie' in what is reported to be "essentially an encounter between two different interpretations of, or approaches to, African-American culture.
The Story The story begins with Mrs. Johnson's narrative which explains how Dee views her. Johnson states that she is a heavy woman who wears overalls during the day and who sleeps in flannels at night.
Johnson is a woman who can handle her own as she relates that she can kill hogs just as good as any man and that she is hearty and strong and just as capable as any man. Johnson obviously has looked life straight in the eye and come forth to handle whatever life throws at her.
Johnson relates that she never looks the 'white man' straight in the eye and always has her foot raised to run from him. Her daughter Dee, on the other hand, always looks everyone straight in the eye and has no fear of anyone.
The language of Mrs. Johnson is reported to denote a "certain relationship between herself and her physical surroundings: Lone Star College System,p. Johnson, in her emphasis on "the physical characteristics of the yard, the pleasure in it manifested by the word 'so,'" points to the attachment that she and Maggie have to their home and to the everyday practice of their lives.
The yard, in fact, is "not just a yard. It is like an extended living room" which confirms that "it exists for her not only as an object of property, but also as the place of her life, as a sort of expression of herself.
Johnson's description of herself "likewise shows a familiarity and comfort with her surroundings and with herself: Johnson is very much 'at home' with herself and fully accepts who she in reality is.
Seeming to be implied by Walker "where she stands in relation to her culture:Alice Walker's "Everyday Use" examines the divide between the rural, southern black in the 60's and 70's and the new progressive movement among the younger generation.
When Dee goes to college she can barely wait to shake the dust off her feet from her poor, Georgia community. Everyday Use," a story included in Alice Walker's collection In Love and Trouble, addresses itself to the dilemma of African Americans who, in striving to escape prejudice and poverty, risk a terrible deracination, a sundering from all that has sustained and defined them.
"Everyday Use" by Alice Walker, is a story of a black family composed of a mother and her two daughters: Maggie and Dee. Walker does an excellent job illustrating her characters. There are all types of characters in this short story from round to static.
Dee is a flat character, yet Walker uses Dee. Commentaries on Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” typically center on Mama’s awakening to one daughter’s superficiality and to the other’s deep- seated understanding of heritage. The Meaning of Heritage in Alice Walker's Everyday Use Essay - The Meaning of Heritage in Alice Walker's Everyday Use Alice Walker's "Everyday Use," is a story about a poor, African-American family and a conflict about the word "heritage." In this short story, the word "heritage" has two meanings.
Speech in "Everyday Use": “She used to read to us without pity; forcing words, lies, other folks' habits, whole lives upon us two, sitting trapped and ignorant underneath her voice.
She washed us in a river of make-believe, burned us with a lot of knowledge we didn't necessarily need to know.