Childhood Essay By Alice Walker

...Rita Du ENGL 2328-MS1 Professor Gilleylen May 22, 2014 Living the Heritage The short story “Everyday Use” by AliceWalker (Norton 1530) is a story told in first person from the perspective of “Mama”. The piece depicts two sisters, Dee and Maggie, as opposites in their personality and way of living. While Maggie is shy and quiet, Dee is materialistic and bold. Furthermore, Maggie loves where she lives and her way of living. In contrast, Dee loves the urban life and wants to display her heritage when in reality she does not want to live it. This is evident when Walker describes the battle between the sisters for the quilts. AliceWalker not only portrays the rivalry between the two sisters but also uses the two characters, Dee and Maggie, as a symbol for the dichotomy in the idea of living the heritage. Walker uses imagery in describing the characters to portray the rural and urban life. The mother is described as “a large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands… I can kill and clean a hog as mercilessly as a man” (1531). This indicates that the mother is accustomed to the farm life and has been living on the farm since childhood. Similar to the mother, Maggie also symbolizes the rural life. She has been living with her mother since she was born and has not lived in the city. In contrast, Walker describes Dee as an urbanized woman who lives in...

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Alice Malsenior Walker

Famous as: Author


Birth Date:February 9, 1944

Age:74 Years

Sun Sign: Aquarius

Born in: Eatonton

father: Willie Lee Walker

mother: Minnie Lou Tallulah Grant

Spouse/Partner: Melvyn Leventhal

children: Rebecca Walker

religion: Buddhism

City, States, Provinces & Districts:Georgia

Net worth: $300 million as of Aug 4, 2015

More Facts

education: Spelman College, 1965 - Sarah Lawrence College

awards: 1983 - Pulitzer Prize for Fiction - The Color Purple
1983 - National Book Award for Fiction (Hardcover) - The Color Purple
1977 - Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts
US & Canada

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