Everyday Use

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate October 2001

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Everyday Use Question 5 America is a country with a great diversity among its people. It is a place where different cultures, values, principles, beliefs and standards are often clashing against each other. Many writers often emphasize these different values by using characters who are estranged from that culture because of their position in relation to others. In "Everyday Use"�, a short story written by Alice Walker, a character named Dee, separated herself from her culture and customs because she was afraid of being disparaged and ostracized by others. Dee's alienation reveals her family's moral values and assumptions through her mother"˜s view, description, and thoughts of Dee.

In "Everyday Use"�, opposing views on cultural values and ideals arose between two individuals, Dee and the narrator, when they were separated from each other. When Dee returned, the narrator only pointed out particular aspects of Dee, which she and Maggie did not possess.

Thus, when the narrator was describing Dee, the reader was able to distinguish the cultural point of view of the mother.

Alice Walker was able to reveal the mother's simple, old fashioned lifestyle through the narrator's depiction of Dee's appearance. Her dress was "down to the ground, in"� the "hot weather."� It was a "dress so loud it"� hurt her "eyes."� The mother was not accustomed to this type of fashionable style. It hurt her eyes because she was not use to seeing such bright "yellows and oranges"� on a dress. Dee's mother obviously noticed her sudden change in fashion, which verifies that Dee follows the new trends. A trend is clearly alien to a person who always wears "flannel nightgowns to bed in the winter and overalls during the day."� Next, the mother describes, in a tone of astonishment, her "gold earrings"� that...



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