"Everyday Use" Essay

Everyday Use Term paper

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The short story "Everyday Use" takes place in the home of a black family. The house has three rooms, a tin roof and holes in the walls for windows. This is a family without a man, but a mother that works as hard as a man. In Alice Walker's short story "Everyday Use," the likenesses and the differences between the character Dee and her mother are manifested in many ways. One way the manifested, were their physical appearances. Mother was a "large, big boned woman with, rough man working hands"(61). She had enough "fat to keep her hot in zero degree weather"(61). She also had more of a manly figure, than womanly figure. Dee, on the other hand, was totally the opposite. As Mother says, "Dee was lighter than Maggie, with nicer hair and a fuller figure"(62). She was a woman that had to look nice and have nice things. Their education and self-confidence were also manifested in many ways. The mother never really had an education. She says, "After the second grade the school was closed down"(62). She was very self confident about the way she worked though, Mother said, "I can kill and clean a hog as mercilessly as a man"(61). She also brags that "One winter I knocked a bull calf straight in the brain between the eyes...(61). Dee though, was a pretty educated woman. Her mom and the church raised money for Dee to send her to college in Augusta. She was confident about how smart she was, and that intelligence against her mom and Maggie. Mother said, "She washed us in a river of make believe, burned us with a lot of knowledge we didn't necessarily need to know."(62). The attitude towards Maggie was mutual between Mother and Dee. They b

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