Everyday Use

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

*Thesis statement: The true way of appreciating one's own heritage lies not in the academic acknowledgement or posession of superficial objects but in one's living and breathing lifestyle and attitude.

In "Everyday Use", the plot is relatively simple; older daughter comes home from school to visit Mama and her younger sister. She asks to have a couple of quilts that were made by her ancestors but Mama won't give them to her because they were for the younger sister. The angry older daughter storms out, then the story is over. But there is so much more into this story than the seemingly typical family conflict. It's about clashing of cultural values- forever dilemma of human nature and surely, a problem that we cannot neglect ourselves.

Dee is the smart daughter who has gone away to study, and now came back home to pay them a visit. She is distinguished from the rest of her family by her physical appearance.

She has a nice hair and a fuller figure. She has the guts to "always look anyone in the eye" and "at sixteen she already had a style of her own; and knew what style was." Dee is not only beautiful, but also the most educated one in the family. Unlike Mama who finished school at second grade, or Maggie who can barely read. But still, she has no awareness of her family's sacrifice for her nor does she seem to understand the state of her family. She doesn't know that if she takes Grandma Dee's butter dish, her family won't be able to have butter for meal. She continually blames them for the way they live, but she doesn't know that this is the best they can do. "where you 'choose' to live" , "You ought to try...