Cultural Impacts in Everyday Use
The objective of this study is to examine the work of Alice Walker entitled “Everyday Use” and the how culture impacts values and material objects and the manner in which culture in reality impacts people and their lifestyle.
The work of Alice Walker entitled “Everyday Use” examines the connotations of culture on material objects. The story involves a woman named Dee who is disgusted with what she sees as a historical oppression in her own family. For this reason, Dee rejects her own cultural heritage and creates what she sees as a new cultural heritage in her own life. In her story it is reported that Alice Walker “takes up what is a recurrent theme in her work: the representation of the harmony as well as the conflicts and struggles within African-American culture.” (Lone Star College System, 2014, p. 1) Her work, “Everyday Use” focuses on the encounter between members of the Johnson family, a rural African-American family. Dee is the only member of this family that is in receipt of a formal education. Dee and her male companion are reported to “return to visit Dee’s mother and younger sister Maggie’ in what is reported to be “essentially an encounter between two different interpretations of, or approaches to, African-American culture.” (Lone Star College System, 2014, p. 1) It is reported that Walker, “employs characterization and symbolism to highlight the difference between these interpretations and ultimately to uphold one of them, showing that culture and heritage are parts of daily life.” (Lone Star College System, 2014, p. 1)
I. The Story
The story begins with Mrs. Johnson’s narrative which explains how Dee views her. Mrs. Johnson states that she is a heavy woman who wears overalls during the day and who sleeps in flannels at night. Mrs. Johnson is a woman who can handle her own as she relates that she can kill hogs just as good as any man and that she is hearty and strong and just as capable as any man. Mrs. Johnson obviously has looked life straight in the eye and come forth to handle whatever life throws at her. However, Mrs. Johnson relates that she never looks the ‘white man’ straight in the eye and always has her foot raised to run from him. Her daughter Dee, on the other hand, always looks everyone straight in the eye and has no fear of anyone. The language of Mrs. Johnson is reported to denote a “certain relationship between herself and her physical surroundings: she waits for Dee “in the yard that Maggie and I made so clean and wavy’. (Lone Star College System, 2014, p. 1) It is stated that Mrs. Johnson, in her emphasis on “the physical characteristics of the yard, the pleasure in it manifested by the word ‘so,'” points to the attachment that she and Maggie have to their home and to the everyday practice of their lives. The yard, in fact, is “not just a yard. It is like an extended living room” which confirms that “it exists for her not only as an object of property, but also as the place of her life, as a sort of expression of herself.” (Lone Star College System, 2014, p. 1) It is also reported that Mrs. Johnson’s description of herself “likewise shows a familiarity and comfort with her surroundings and with herself: she is ‘a large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands’ — in other words, she knows the reality of her body and accepts it, even finding comfort (both physical and psychological) in the way that her ‘fat keeps [her] hot in zero weather’.” (Lone Star College System, 2014, p. 1) This emphasizes the fact that Mrs. Johnson is very much ‘at home’ with herself and fully accepts who she in reality is. Seeming to be implied by Walker “where she stands in relation to her culture:” (Lone Star College System, 2014, p. 1)
II. Mrs. Johnson’s Daughter Maggie
Mrs. Johnson’s other daughter, Maggie is described as “rather unattractive and shy: the scars she bears on her body have likewise scarred her soul, and, as a result, she is retiring, even frightened. Mrs. Johnson admits, in a loving manner, that ‘like good looks and money, quickness passed her by’.” (Lone Star College System, 2014, p. 1) Mrs. Johnson additionally relates that Maggie “stumbles” as she reads, but clearly Mrs. Johnson thinks of her as a sweet person, a daughter with whom she can sing songs at church. Most importantly, however, Maggie is, like her mother, at home in her traditions, and she honors the memory of her ancestors; for example, she is the daughter in the family who has learned how to quilt from her grandmother.” (Lone Star College System, 2014, p. 1)
II. Mrs. Johnson’s Daughter Dee
Dee is reported to be the exact opposite of Maggie as she is “characterized by good looks, ambition, and education (Mrs. Johnson, we are told, collects money at her church so that Dee can attend school). Dee’s education has been extremely important in forging her character, but at the same time it has split her off from her family. Mamma says, ‘She used to read to us without pity; forcing words, lies, other folks’ habits, whole lives upon us two, sitting trapped and ignorant underneath her voice’.” (, p. 1) Dee has transitioned toward traditions that are in complete contrast to the traditions of her own family and appears to be “on a quest to link herself to her African roots and has changed her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo.” (Lone Star College System, 2014, p. 1) By doing this and in the attempt to discover her own and ‘ancient’ roots, she has simultaneously, “denied, or at least refused to accept, her more immediate heritage, the heritage that her mother and sister share.” (Lone Star College System, 2014, p. 1) Dee in addition, refuses to eat pork and collard greens and by doing so has effectively deni9ed her own African-American culture.
III. Signifiers of Cultural Heritage
Mrs. Johnson states that she has ‘”man-working hands” and can “kill a hog as mercilessly as a man” and this is clearly indicating her hard life and her hard work that life has required of her. Maggie’s scars are also symbolic of that hard life which she sustained during a house fire. Mrs. Johnson has promised that when Maggie marries that she will be given the quilts the family owns and these are highly symbolic of the African-American culture to which Mrs. Johnson and Maggie belong and from which Dee has removed herself with her refusal to have anything to do with anything that is representative of that culture.
In Alice Walker’s story “Everyday Use,” Walker provides lessons on true inheritance in terms of ‘what it is, and who can receive it. The hand stitched quilts become the center of conflict in the story. They are also used to symbolize the true inheritance. Like a quilt, a person’s world view is made up of events, circumstances and influences that shape how they see and respond to the world..” (Eshbaugh, 2008, p. 1) The daughter, Dee is reported to have “ventured from the rural world she grew up in but never felt part of. The story is set in the context of her returning home for the first time since she left for college. Maggie the younger daughter has never left home.” (Eshbaugh, 2008,. p. 1) The motives of Dee are clear as she has “come home to retrieve objects from her former life that are meaningful to her. She plans to incorporate them into her decor.” (Eshbaugh, 2008, p. 1)
Mrs. Johnson is reported to relate that Dee’s “sad attempt to find value in her family and claim her inheritance. Maggie’s quiet backward nature on examination is a portrait of a person who receives from life whatever is given, just as a quilter often uses scraps she has at hand. Maggie brings Dee’s dissatisfaction into sharper focus.” (Eshbaugh, 2008, p. 1) It is stated that just before Dee leaves, that she puts on sunglasses and that “style is the color of glass Dee sees life through” (Eshbaugh, 2008, p. 1) The story moves on and culminates in Dee’s stating her case for receiving the quilts by supporting that idea with the statement that she is the only daughter who will truly appreciate the quilts since she believes that they will be used by Maggie for everyday use while she will “place them on her wall as works of art.” (Eshbaugh, 2008, p. 1) Mrs. Johnson remembers that Dee had refused to take the quilts with her to college because they were “old fashioned and out of style.” (Eshbaugh, 2008, p. 1) The quilts that Mrs. Johnson offered to Dee are reported to have been “machined stitched” and it is reported that after Dee had assessed them “like a professional collector, she concludes they will never do. Dee wants the quilts she believes were all hand stitched by grandma herself and all the cloth came from grandma Dee’s dresses. This isn’t quite true so Mama tries to fill in the details of the quilt’s history by pointing out that the lavender material was from her great grandmother.” (Eshbaugh, 2008, p. 1) Dee caresses the quilts and exclaims “Imagine!” (Eshbaugh, 2008,, p. 1) It is related that Mrs. Johnson and Maggie both have “intimate knowledge and appreciation of the family’s heritage.” (Eshbaugh, 2008, p. 1) It is reported as well that Dee is almost successful in getting the quality but that in a “moment of clarity” that Mrs. Johnson realizes that the quilts “can never belong to Dee. Maggie has inherited what the quilts embody.” (Eshbaugh, 2008, p. 1)
Summary and Conclusion
Dee has rejected her heritage and this results in her losing her inheritance of the quilts as the quilts are part of Maggie’s existence and have formulated in part what Maggie’s life represents. It is clear that cultural artifacts and personal belongings as well as even the food that people consume are representative of cultural traditions and ways of life and that these items and food signify to the individual the culture to which they belong.
Eshbaugh, R. (2008) A Literary Analysis of Alice Walker’s Short Story Everyday Use: The True Inheritance. Yahoo Voices. 21 Aug 2008. Retrieved from: http://voices.yahoo.com/a-literary-analysis-alice-walkers-short-story-everyday-1818229.html?cat=44
Characterization and Symbolism in Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” (2014) Lone Star College System. Retrieved from: http://www.lonestar.edu/13778.htm
Everyday Use (nd) Alice Walker. Online Retrieved from: http://xroads.virginia.edu/~ug97/quilt/walker.html
Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?
Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.
Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.
Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.
While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.
Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.
In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.
Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.
We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!
We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.
Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.
We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.
Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.
There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.
Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.
We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.
You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.
We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.
You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.
Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.
You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.
The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.
PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY!!!
We provide professional writing services to help you score straight A’s by submitting custom written assignments that mirror your guidelines.
Get result-oriented writing and never worry about grades anymore. We follow the highest quality standards to make sure that you get perfect assignments.
Our writers have experience in dealing with papers of every educational level. You can surely rely on the expertise of our qualified professionals.
Your deadline is our threshold for success and we take it very seriously. We make sure you receive your papers before your predefined time.
Someone from our customer support team is always here to respond to your questions. So, hit us up if you have got any ambiguity or concern.
Sit back and relax while we help you out with writing your papers. We have an ultimate policy for keeping your personal and order-related details a secret.
We assure you that your document will be thoroughly checked for plagiarism and grammatical errors as we use highly authentic and licit sources.
Still reluctant about placing an order? Our 100% Moneyback Guarantee backs you up on rare occasions where you aren’t satisfied with the writing.
You don’t have to wait for an update for hours; you can track the progress of your order any time you want. We share the status after each step.
Although you can leverage our expertise for any writing task, we have a knack for creating flawless papers for the following document types.
Although you can leverage our expertise for any writing task, we have a knack for creating flawless papers for the following document types.
From brainstorming your paper's outline to perfecting its grammar, we perform every step carefully to make your paper worthy of A grade.
Hire your preferred writer anytime. Simply specify if you want your preferred expert to write your paper and we’ll make that happen.
Get an elaborate and authentic grammar check report with your work to have the grammar goodness sealed in your document.
You can purchase this feature if you want our writers to sum up your paper in the form of a concise and well-articulated summary.
You don’t have to worry about plagiarism anymore. Get a plagiarism report to certify the uniqueness of your work.
Join us for the best experience while seeking writing assistance in your college life. A good grade is all you need to boost up your academic excellence and we are all about it.
We create perfect papers according to the guidelines.
We seamlessly edit out errors from your papers.
We thoroughly read your final draft to identify errors.
Work with ultimate peace of mind because we ensure that your academic work is our responsibility and your grades are a top concern for us!
Dedication. Quality. Commitment. Punctuality
Here is what we have achieved so far. These numbers are evidence that we go the extra mile to make your college journey successful.
We have the most intuitive and minimalistic process so that you can easily place an order. Just follow a few steps to unlock success.
We understand your guidelines first before delivering any writing service. You can discuss your writing needs and we will have them evaluated by our dedicated team.
We write your papers in a standardized way. We complete your work in such a way that it turns out to be a perfect description of your guidelines.
We promise you excellent grades and academic excellence that you always longed for. Our writers stay in touch with you via email.