Everyday use answers. Everyday Use Discussion Questions & Answers 2022-10-18
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In Alice Walker's short story "Everyday Use," the character of Mama struggles with the conflicting desires to preserve her African American heritage and to ensure that her children live comfortable, modern lives. At the heart of this conflict is the question of how best to "use" the objects and traditions that represent her heritage.
Mama's older daughter, Dee, represents the modern, urban African American who seeks to reject traditional ways in favor of a more mainstream, assimilated lifestyle. Dee is described as being "light-skinned, with nice hair" and wearing "earrings of dyed blue plastic" and "a dress of the sort that is printed with a hundred little pictures of Egypt." These details suggest that Dee is trying to adopt a more cosmopolitan, exoticized image of African culture, rather than embracing the authentic traditions of her ancestors.
In contrast, Mama's younger daughter, Maggie, is described as being "dark as a forest" and "ashamed of the burn scars that mark her face and arms." Mama believes that Maggie, who has lived a more isolated, rural life, is more connected to their heritage and has a deeper appreciation for the objects and traditions that represent it.
The central conflict in the story revolves around the fate of a quilt that Mama has made from scraps of fabric that have been passed down through her family for generations. Dee, who has recently changed her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo, wants to take the quilt and display it as a decorative object, insisting that it has "more education than [Mama] has." Mama initially resists Dee's request, recognizing that the quilt is more than just a decorative object – it is a tangible connection to her family's history and a symbol of their resilience and strength.
However, Mama ultimately decides to give the quilt to Maggie, recognizing that she will value it for its sentimental and cultural significance, rather than simply using it as a decorative object. In doing so, Mama asserts her own authority and autonomy as a woman and a member of the African American community, choosing to preserve and pass on the traditions of her ancestors rather than allowing them to be appropriated and commodified by others.
In conclusion, "Everyday Use" raises important questions about the ways in which we use and value the objects and traditions that represent our heritage. It suggests that it is important to recognize and respect the cultural significance of these things, rather than simply using them as superficial symbols of identity or as decorative objects. Ultimately, Mama's decision to give the quilt to Maggie is a powerful statement about the importance of preserving and passing on the traditions of her ancestors, rather than allowing them to be lost or appropriated by others.
"Everyday Use" Quiz
PART A: Which of the following best explains the relationship between the speaker and Lenore? Themes In "Everyday Use" what new habits show Dee's pride in her African heritage, rather than in her American heritage? She learned through hard work that those things do not matter and what she went through changed her a lot. To Dee, the quilts represent the historical significance of an oppressed people. The three main characters of the story are Mama, Dee and Maggie. Various interpretations of the short stories are presented and studied. She also evaluates Maggie's religious beliefs and describes personal religious revelations. In Everyday Use, Alice Walker uses symbolic settings to portray the vitality of upholding and respecting the true value of African-American culture.
Wangero is an attempt for her to reach for her African roots. But just as constant are the cultures and traditions that are carried forth through generations. Mama stands sheepishly to one side while Dee takes control of the situation. Dee is also very intelligent and well suited to schoolwork. While Mama has no time for pretense, she does offer a more balanced and complex insight into the struggle represented by the girls' behavior. The reader never learns her name, only her familial title as Dee and Maggie call her. Maggie and Mama, however, still use these items and, in doing so, keep their culture alive.
Dee also greets her family in an African language, even though it is very unlikely they will understand the phrase she uses, "Wa-su-zo-Tean-o. She thinks it is a shame Maggie does not take advantage of new opportunities available to African Americans at the time. Maggie still bears the scars of that fateful night. Read an Maggie The shy, retiring daughter who lives with Mama. Do humans control nature, or does nature eventually triumph? Themes How does the incident with the butter churn shed light on Dee's personality in "Everyday Use"? Both of her daughters are contrary in nature and morality. After she greets her family, Dee returns to the car to take out a Polaroid camera. How do we deal with grief? Dee may be selfish, but she is no doubt driven.
Download study guides, Popular Questions About Everyday Use, and more! Upon closer inspection, one can begin to understand the struggles that led her up to this point in her life. Using physical attributes, the writer wants the readers to understand that both her daughters are very different from each other and herself. From a young age Dee has set out to create a life for herself that is different from that of her family: "Dee wanted nice things," as Mama notes, and for Dee education was the means of lifting herself out of the poverty she hated and that shamed her. Which TWO of the following quotes best embody how the imagery develops the supernatural atmosphere of the poem? When long-suffering Maggie offers to give the quilts to Dee, Mama realizes "This was Maggie's portion. The main character can have any morality whether that be good or bad. Mama and Maggie share similar views of respect towards their cultural, whereas Dee has a different perspective towards preserving culture and tradition. Everyday Use is a widely studied piece of literature to imbibe moral principles.
But Maggie can continue traditions into the future by putting these humble objects to everyday use. Mama marvels at how Dee can manipulate the white audience, twisting her own history into a narrative they want to hear. She wears overalls and has been both mother and father to her two daughters. Her education has opened up her world, and her success at college is certainly the product of her self-possession and tenacity. Ans: I think I would be happy with the progress that there is today about racism, but not at all because there are still many injustices against black people. They accept the call and embark on the journey and are exiled from their land. Mama can see right and wrong in both children, and in both points of view.
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Dee wanted nice things and was intent on getting them. Mama describes her lack of confidence as that of a "lame animal," who walks "chin on chest, eyes on the ground, feet in shuffle. Mama is a devout, church-going woman for whom God is an active part of daily life. Mama has long been content with her lot in life and projects this same sense of fatalism onto young Maggie. It is also possible shy Maggie may not have wanted to go to school because of the burn scars that cover her body and that Mama believes have caused her shyness. Although Mama is anxious over the wounds Dee will reopen upon her arrival, she still has the latent desire to be accepted and respected by her eldest daughter, and the world in which Mama believes she exists. What is the relationship between humans and animals, or between humans and nature? Mama, however, has had enough of this emotional bludgeoning, and tells Wangero to take two other quilts not intended for Maggie and leave.
Dee seeks to fetishize and reject the existence that comprises Maggie's everyday world. . Answer: Everyday Use uses physical attributes to symbolize the difference in nature and upbringing. For Dee the house is a symbol of the family's poverty, and it is not the kind of place in which she wants to live. Hakim-a-barber attempts to kiss Maggie but she recoils in horror. There is a subtext to Dee that Walker subtly weaves throughout the story.
Maggie was scarred in a house fire as a child, and is self-conscious about her burns. What is the meaning of the name wangero? Next Section Test Yourself! Rather than anger her intimidating sister, she is willing to let Dee have the quilts that had originally been promised to her. Mama says, "Maggie smiled; maybe at the sunglasses. Buy Study Guide Mama Mama, the narrator of the story, is big boned, stronger than most men, and mild tempered. Symbols What is the role of education in Walker's "Everyday Use"? This gives Mama an authority earned through wisdom, age, and position as matriarch. Discussion Questions with answer The Raven Q1.