Every Day Use

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate September 2001

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Alice Walker's short story " Everyday Use" denounces a reality that a lot of people never would have thought existed. The author reveals many aspects of some individuals in the black community at that time; African American The different conflicts in this story emerges from within the characters, but the central conflict explodes when one of the characters, Dee, religiously denounces to her cultural background an takes advantage of her mother's hospitality, love and kindness.

The narrator is the mother of the two sisters Maggie and Dee. The internal conflict is notable in the narrator. The mother seem to be describing herself with great details and passion which means that she is wondering if there isn't a better life out there or if she was destined to live without a husband, to live in poverty. On top off al her wonders there comes her younger Daughter Dee who decides to reject her identity after receiving an education financially supported by her.

The mother has to choose between her two daughters in this case where she has to reflect on all the work she had to do before providing Dee with an education. The internal conflict mostly generates the idea of if she had sent Maggie to school instead of Dee. Surely it would have been different, surely she would have came back bringing joy and happiness in her mother's heart. "Mama" as Maggie refers to her has to make a choice between past and present; she has to choose between the new Dee and the same old affectionate Maggie who she had been degrading with horrible comments because of her looks. Now "Mama" realized that no matter how she treated Maggie or no matter what she said to her, she would always be by her side. In the other hand, Dee even changed her name to "wangero". Dee even went on to hurt her mother by saying "I couldn't bear it any longer, being named after the people who oppress me".(Walker91)