Compare Dee and Mrs. Slade

Essay by srbrownA+, December 2004

download word file, 4 pages 5.0

Dee and Mrs. Slade are like "two peas in a pod." Alice Walker skillfully crafts the character of Dee Johnson in the short story "Everyday Use." Walker describes Dee's character as arrogant and selfish, and through Dee's character one is allowed to perceive the wicked affect of an egotistical world. Edith Wharton uses a more subtle approach to her description of Mrs. Alida Slade in "Roman Fever." Mrs. Slade is a middle-aged, wealthy, New York widow and is vacationing in Italy. She prides herself on being a charming entertainer, a good hostess, and a vibrant woman in her own right. Dee and Mrs. Slade have several characteristics that are alike. Dee and Mrs. Slade are similar in appearance, personality and their view of others.

First, Dee and Mrs. Slade are similar in appearance. Dee's physical beauty can be defined as one of her biggest assets. The fact that her sister, Maggie, sees Dee "with a mixture of envy and awe" (Walker 840) cues the reader to Dee's favorable appearance.

The way in which Walker states that "Dee is lighter than Maggie, with nicer hair and a fuller figure" (Walker 841) gives the reader the idea that Dee's beauty has made it easier for her to be accepted outside her family in society. Mrs. Slade also uses her appearance to define who she is. She is described as a woman with "high color and energetic brows." (Wharton 874) Wharton describes Mrs. Slade as being "fuller, and higher in color [than Mrs. Ansley], with a small determined nose supported by vigorous black eyebrows." (Wharton 874) Mrs. Slade describes herself as "that handsome woman with good clothes and the eyes." (Wharton 876) Dee and Mrs. Slade are as similar in personality as they are similar in appearance.

Second, Dee and Mrs. Slade share...