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Walker Essay

  • Submitted by: anonymous
  • on April 3, 2014
  • Category: History
  • Length: 930 words

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Below is an essay on "Walker" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Alice Walker: Quilts, Family & Love
In the short story “Everyday Use”, Alice Walker uses the main character “Dee” to develop a plot based upon   family heirlooms to show the importance of never throwing the good out with the bad in life. Dee, also known as Wangero later in the story, is convinced that everything about home should be forgotten to create a new life. However there are valuables Dee wants to keep that are very special to the family. These valuables are quilts that were promised to Dee’s younger sister, Maggie by her Mother. Walker uses objects of family heritage to show that Dee must respect her family heritage even though she is the first to go away to college. Walker uses heritage with the history of family names, sibling rivalry, and a rare collection of family quilts to develop the theme about not throwing out all of the good memories with the memories Dee would like to leave behind.
After leaving the only place Dee has ever known as home, she’s awakened by the history of her family and believes that she should change her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo. She tells Mama this is because she couldn’t “bear it any longer being named after the people who oppress me” (746) when in fact she was named after her aunt Dicie. Walker illustrates that her name is not punishment, rather a blessing because it is actually a much older family name that could possibly be traced back as far as the Civil War. A family name is of importance because it shows your ancestors, your history and how we all evolved as a person. Dee is not interested in why or who she is named for, rather more interested in letting go of   the heritage Mama has kept sacred.
Walker uses sibling rivalry in “Everyday Use” similar to what every eldest child goes through at some stage. When Dee left, Maggie was the only child and that had given her and Mama time to bond over cooking, dinner, and sitting out on the porch as they described. As Dee returned for a visit she realizes that...

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