Accepting Ones Heritage in Everyday Usage Ash Eslinger February 24, 2010 English219-M Essay 1 People’ identities are formed and moulded by how he or she chooses to accept and preserve their culture.
One may think that it is very important to have the chance to pass down the stories of their past and the significance of their family treasures. Another viewpoint one may have in conserving one’s heritage might be just having household treasures.
This paper focuses on the value of experiencing individuals’s heritage and being proud of it; despite challenges and stereotypes.In the short story “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker it appears that the antagonist has an interest in maintaining her heritage for the incorrect reasons. Good sense appears to dictate that Mama is more sympathetic towards Maggie because they have more in typical and share the respect for their heritage. Some critics believe that Mother perhaps favours Maggie when it pertains to the adoration and respect of their heritage. Although Dee declares she’s become more experienced about her African-American culture, Mama doesn’t think that her heart is in it.
It’s almost as if she has shed her identity to satisfy this incorrect image that’s anchored in her head of what being real to her African-American culture is all about. When Mama recognizes the only reason Dee got home was to declare their family’s old quilts so she could hang them on the wall, Mom ends up being resentful and disappointed towards her for not valuing the sentimentality behind her family’s treasures. Having the quilts hang on the wall of her house for everybody to see is basically a tip of her remarkable social and economic status.Mama believes Dee is oblivious and naive towards her own inheritance. By conforming to the white Americans view of the African-American traditions she’s cheating herself out of both cultures. She’s both and neither at the same time. Although Walker does not directly state, Dee’s character appears embarrassed of how Mother and Maggie live their lives.
The narrative supports the reality that Mother puts her foot down when Dee tries to take the quilts although they were promised to Maggie.When Maggie tries to voluntarily permit Dee to take the quilts Mama actions in and insists Dee take some of the other ones. Some might think Mom is unjust when it concerns her children, when actually she’s managing the scenario as her mother and grandmother would have handled it, supporting her idea of preserving heritage. Maggie, the younger of the 2 daughters, is covered in scars from when their old home went up in flames. The scars represent the almost uncomfortable state in which Maggie lives. Although she is content with what she has, she will most likely never have more.Her quiet, withdrawn character helps readers see the contrast in between the two sis.
Likewise their total opposite views of their heritage. Dee has a shallow idea of her heritage and chooses appearance over compound; how things appear on the outdoors, rather than the in depth meaning. Maggie on the other hand has regard for and is very familiar with where she originated from. Proof from the text supports the concept that Maggie knew a great deal more than Dee about the significance of lots of household heirlooms.Like Mother, Maggie is able to take pride in the practical elements of her nature and their lack of education does not prevent them from appreciating their heritage and those who came prior to them. Maggie values the significance of experiencing her heritage instead of putting in on screen. She’s an utilitarian whose daily use of the quilts advise her of her family ties and specifically of her Granny Dee.
Because Mother and Maggie share not just cultural beliefs but likewise physical attributes Walker makes it clear that Mom has the ability to better relate with Maggie over Dee.Along with accusing Mother of not comprehending her own heritage, Dee furiously specifies that “‘Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts! She ‘d probably be backward enough to put them to daily usage. ‘” (Walker 253) Unfortunately for Dee, Mom sides with Maggie in hope that she would utilize them. Previously in the story, Dee attempts to prove her knowledge about the quilts but she only specifies how they were made from pieces of dresses her Grandma utilized to wear, nothing about either Grandpas clothing scraps.She finished her argument with what she believed was a strong declaration about how they were all stitched by hand by her Grandma Dee, when in fact Mother and Huge Dee also helped create the works of art. To Mom the quilts have a much deeper significance. When she goes up to touch the quilts, she is connecting to touch individuals whom the quilts represent.
Mother is more happy to pass down the quilts to Maggie due to the fact that she believes Maggie has the ability to make the exact same connection as she does to the quilts.Mama and Maggie are able share the belief that the real significance behind every household treasure comes from the memories in which that item has actually made, so even when the object disappears, the memories are still able to live on through one’s bequest. In this short story, Walker indirectly concentrates on the reality that Maggie is following in Mother’s footsteps and that it is highly likely that she will lead the exact same lifestyle as Mother has. If one is able to put in the time to acknowledge the recollections of the past through household treasures, she or he will most likely have the ability to understand and value their heritage.In conclusion this paper goes in depth about being real to ones heritage, moreover, being true to oneself. When it pertains to the topic of heritage, most of us will voluntarily concur that it takes more than knowledge of one’s grandparents’ names and a number of old quilts to show ones enthusiasm and belief. In this case, Dee seems content with how she has actually decided to accept and portray her own heritage whereas the majority of people, consisting of Mother and Maggie, are on the opposite side of the spectrum because they believe it is more important to view your heritage as your whole lives experiences.
When it is stated that Mama is more supportive towards Maggie it is simply stating With that stated, to really have the personal complete satisfaction of becoming part of one’s heritage, they initially need to accept their own pureness and faults. As soon as you have the ability to do so, acknowledging oneself as a part of one’s heritage must rise naturally.Works Cited Walker, Alice. “Everyday Use.” Making Arguments about Literature: A Compact Guide and Anthology. Ed. John Schilb and John Clifford.
Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 2005. 247-253.