Strength of Mama in Alice walker’s “Everyday Use” Essay

October 3, 2017 General Studies

Alice Walker’s _Everyday use_ is a narrative about a female parent and her two girls. Dee and Maggie. Mama. the storyteller. of the narrative gives us a good description of both girls by demoing their different strengths and failing. Dee and Maggie are every bit different as twenty-four hours and dark but Mama love them both. Dee the older girl is really beautiful. independent. confident. and educated but she is besides chesty. selfish and self centered. Maggie on the other manus. is uneducated and unattractive with burn cicatrixs on her face arm and leg taking to her holding a low ego regard and being diffident. Mama. an African American is a strong hard-working. independent. uneducated. and self sufficient adult female who despite all these great qualities still have a low ego regard and lacks self assurance.

Mama being an independent adult female. depict herself as ” a big. big-boned adult female with unsmooth. man-working custodies ” ( Walker 104 ) . Working hard in every sense of the word. She worked difficult to give her girl the opportunity in life that she ne’er had. A individual female parent who works difficult to take attention of her household. and took up the duty as caput of the household. Mama is able to work all twenty-four hours irrespective of the conditions and she ” can kill and clean a pig every bit pitilessly as a man” ( walker 104 ) . But apart from her physical strength. she besides show mental stamina. A big black adult female with a bosom every bit large as her profile and the work moralss of an ox. She had the strength of a adult male and could make any man’s occupation. and she takes pride in the practical facet of her life.

Mama when turning up. had few civil autonomies as a coloured individual. She mentioned that ” after 2nd class. the school was closed down” ( Walker 105 ) . and because of this she is non educated and can non read. However her deficiency of instruction and polish does non forestall her from holding an built-in apprehension of her heritage based on her love and regard for those who came before her. This is clear from her ability to tie in pieces of cloth in two quits with the people whose apparels they have been cut from. A adult female whose formal instruction was cut short in 1927 right after she achieved a 2nd class instruction. seemingly embraced her daughter’s glare and ambition by raising money. with the aid of their church to direct her to school in Augusta.

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Mama allowed Dee to acquire whatever she wanted that Mama could afford because of her academic intelligence. She explains that ” Dee wanted nice things… . black pumps to fit a green suit she’d made from an old suit person gave me” ( walker 105 ) . Mama allows Dee to take the old green suit given to her by person and that was likely Mama best outfit given that Dee knew what manner was. But Dee ever wanted more to the extent that Mama “fought off the enticement to agitate her” ( walker 105 ) .

Unlike her girl Dee. Mama lacks self assurance and ego regard. She states that ” who can even conceive of me looking a unusual white adult male in the eyes? ” ( 104 ) ; ever taking the defensive position of flight and avoiding the white adult male every bit much as possible. Mama knew her topographic point. and that she could non rub shoulders with white folks. Furthermore Mama feels self witting about her visual aspect because she knows that Dee will non O.K. . Sometimes. mama dreams ” … I am the manner my girl would desire me to be: a hundred lbs lighter. my tegument like an uncooked barley battercake ( Walker 104 ) . Mama dreams that Dee will love her for who she is. and appreciate her all she’d done to guarantee that she attain her ends.

Dee on the other manus ne’er shows any sort of grasp to her female parent. Mama in the procedure of being a good female parent to her girls is unwittingly bias to her girl Maggie in favour of Dee. This was because Dee had the expressions and encephalons and. therefore had potencies to be successful in life. She sometimes dream that Dee will encompass her with thanks and love and appreciate her heritage. She seems to avoid struggles of any type. This when Dee arrives and announces that her name is no longer Dee but Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo. Mama put up small battle about a household name that has been passed through the coevals.

Mama is a dynamic character in the narrative. Throughout the full narrative Mama reasonably much Acts of the Apostless like a pacificist. ne’er desiring to get down any problem or set her pes down about anything. She comes to a realisation of Dee’s shallowness and Maggie’s profound apprehension of heritage. Maggie is so much like Mama and non one to contend for anything was willing to allow Dee take the comforter that Mama had promised her as a nuptials gift. and this same comforter Dee had one time refused to take to college. Dee complains that ” Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts… she’d likely be rearward plenty to set them to everyday use” ( Walker 110 ) .

Dee will instead hang them to adorn her flat. Sing the selfish. narcissistic nature of Dee still present after all these old ages. ever desiring and non willing to give ; Mama concludes that ” I did something I ne’er did before: hugged Maggie to me. so dragged her on into the room. snatched the comforters out of Miss Wangero’s custodies and dumped them on Maggie’s lap” ( Walker 110-111 ) . Mama decides that Maggie deserves the comforter because heritage is appreciated and respected through mundane usage. Alice Walker opens the reader eyes to see that it is really of import to accept our heritage and appreciate it. Our heritage is portion of who we are.

Work Cited

Walker. Alice. “Everyday Use” _In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens_ . New York: Anchor Books. 1984


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