Everyday Use, comparing and contrasting the short story of Alice Walker, to the short movie.

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Sameer Bhavnani

Professor Bachmann

English 39 - Film Literature

3 - 25 - 04

Everyday UseOvich

Alice Walker wrote a short story called "Everyday Use," based on her life as an African in early America. The story was made into a short film that followed the theme (African-American culture) of the story by keeping the plot, settings, conflict/climax, and characters the same. However, the story and short film differ in dialogue and point of view.

"Everyday Use," short film was more story oriented as it showed what Mama only described in the text: "Maggie will be nervous until after her sister goes: she will stand hopelessly in corners, homely and ashamed of the burn scars down her arms and legs, eying her sister with a mixture of envy and awe." (WALKER 120) Mama was explaining how Maggie would feel when Dee comes to visit. In the movie, viewers had to wait and see until Dee's arrival to see Maggie's reactions, it wasn't told by Mama, but rather interpreted on screen by a moving image.

This was done by changing the point of view from first person to third person. The movie did have a voice over by Mama as Maggie and herself raked the leaves before Dee's arrival, but that was not the same as the story, as the dialog in the story starts on the day Dee arrives but talks about what they did the day before: "I will wait for her in the yard that Maggie and I made so clean and wavy yesterday afternoon."(WALKER 120) Mama is talking about what she did the day before, but in the movie she was shown doing it.

The reason for such a perspective change only makes sense, for scenes such as Mama and Dee arguing while Maggie is...