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“History†Pearl Loftlin 219-04-0091 ENC 1102-042 Dr. Walker February 11, 2002 Documented Essay One “History†Thesis: Knowing one’s history can change one’s outlook on life through understanding one’s identity.

I. Having relationships is a great outlet for helping find one’s identity.

A. Relationships between parent and child.

B. Relationships between siblings.

II. Love shows and teaches one responsibility, which help with understanding one’s history and identity.

A. Having love for oneself is a way for understanding one’s identity.

B. Having love for one’s family shows that one has love for one’s history and family values.

III. Of all ways one can understand one’s identity and history, knowing about the generations in one’s family provides understanding.

A. The knowledge obtain from generations in one’s family, brings understanding about one’s history and family values.

1 What is it about life that is important? Many might say sex is important in life, others may say that having fun is what life is all about, few may say that is it knowing where one has come from.

All of these thought may be right but in most cases what one knows about ones history make one a stronger person. Alice Walker’s short story, “Everyday Use,†shows just how important it is for one to know about one’s history. Knowing one’s history can change one’s outlook on life through finding one’s identity. In order to understand one’s history it is important to have family values, which teaches the importance of relationships, love, and generation wisdom.

Having relationships is a great outlet for helping find one’s identity. A relationship between parent and child teaches respect. “I did something I never had done before: hugged Maggie to me, then dragged her on into the room, snatched the quilts out of Miss Wangero’s hands dumped them into Maggie’s lap (70).†Not only do relationships teach one about respect it also teaches discipline. Having discipline makes one have a better character, it able one to become more in touch with oneself and one’s history. Relationship amongst siblings is also a way of finding and understanding one’s history. This relationship shows one how to care for someone. If the relationship among sibling is not strong than it will divide a family and stray away from family values. “Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts, she’d probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use (70).†These quotes are prime examples of relationship. It 2 also shows the importance in knowing and having relationships in order to understand oneself.

Love shows and teaches one responsibility, which help with understanding one’s history and identity. The definition of love is a strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties. Having love for oneself helps one understand one’s identity. Dee always wanted nice things, she would take a beat up old suit, sew it to meet her style need and make it look as if she had class and wealth (66). With this effort Dee had always wanted to be better and showed that she was ashamed of her family. It also showed that she has loved herself more than her family. When loving oneself it often time shows how determined one is to better oneself. Sometimes this determination will stray one away from one’s history and family values, leaving one confused and not sure of one’s identity. Having love for family values and history give a better understanding to one about one’s identity. In order to really understand one’s history one must first know about one’s history.

Of all ways one can understand one’s identity and history, knowing about the generations in one’s family provides understanding. With each family, generations tend to gain more and more knowledge. This knowledge provides one with wisdom and knowledge in order to understand one’s history, which in turns helps one in finding one’s identity. Dee attempts to understand her history as an African American, leads her to try to reconnect with her family’s history.

3 After dinner she went to the corner where churn that her Uncle Buddy whittled and took it into her hands. She also went for the dasher and the two quilts that were passed down by generations (69). This attempt made her confused about her identity and changed her outlook on family values. “Out she peeks next with a Polaroid. She stoops down quickly and lines up picture after picture of me sitting there in front of the house with Maggie cowering behind me. She never takes a shot without making sure the house is included (67).†She tries to come back and act as if she knows her history and her heritage. With generations names are also passed down. Many names have deep-rooted meanings. Dee name was special because it was passed down through three generations. From her grandmother to her aunt and to her. In trying to find herself she thought that changing her name would define who she really was. When all the while she failed to realize how important her name was to the history of the family. Her name was no longer Dee; it had become Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo. She decided that she no longer wanted the name if her oppressor. She was named after her aunt Dicie who was named after her mother, Dee (68).

If one knows and understands one’s history than one can understand one’s identity. Knowing family and history and everything that is involved with it makes one stronger and builds character. If understanding one history is easy than one will be able to understand many things that happen during one’s 4 lifetime. Once one knows history, one also knows oneself and everything about oneself.