"Everyday Use" written by Alice Walker

Essay by butterfly_stefHigh School, 11th grade January 2004

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The story of Maggie Johnson in Alice Walker's Everyday Use is a story about a young girl who has many challenges in life. It is a story about poverty and stereotypes that often affect many young girls in similar situations. Maggie is a survivor who through the love of her mother is able to rise above these negative attitudes and begin to appreciate herself and her gifts.

Maggie Johnson is a young, shy African American woman. She has a thin body with burn scars throughout her arms and legs. A fire had left emotional as well as physical scars on her as a child.

Maggie is very timid and good-natured. She respects her mother and the way in which she was raised. She has a good memory and remembers the highlights and the people in her childhood fondly. She knows that she is not too bright although she is able to read a little bit.

Maggie is a timid and self-conscious girl. She is nervous around people she does not know. She is especially nervous around her older sister Dee because she is somewhat frightened of her. She seems ashamed of herself and of the burn scars on her legs and arms. Maggie walks with her head down and her feet shuffling. She cowers behind her mother as her sister takes pictures of her and her mama. She talks very low whenever she decides to say something, which is a very rare occurrence.

As Hakim-a-barber hugs Maggie, she almost falls back. She is sweating and trembling as Hakim is trying to introduce himself. Her hand goes limp as he tries to shake her hand.

Maggie does not speak very much. She is very secluded and chooses not to speak most of the time. Though when she does talk, she...