Alice Walker’s Description of the Idea of the Household as Illustrated in Her Book, Everyday Use

The Heritage of your house

In “Everyday Usage” by Alice Walker, Dee’s negative attitude towards the Johnson’s household reflects her embarrassed views of her family and their analysis of heritage.

The descriptions of your house depicted by Mother, Maggie, and Dee distinguish how various their lifestyles are, and how they impact Dee’s understanding of her family. At first, the lawn of your home is referred to as “more comfy than the majority of people know … like a prolonged living room” by Mama, the narrator (1226 ). Its homeliness is brought upon by the extensive care of the backyard taken by Maggie and Mom, who had “made [it] so tidy and wavy” (1226 ). They look at the lawn as a place of solace and defense from the outside world. Nevertheless, the narrator concerns the sudden awareness, before Dee’s arrival, that, “No doubt when Dee sees it she will wish to tear it down. She composed me as soon as that no matter where we “choose” to live, she will manage to come see us. But she will never bring her good friends” (1228 ). The difference between the storyteller’s take care of the home and Dee’s contempt expose Dee’s sensations of shame and dissatisfaction. Whereas Maggie and Mother take terrific pride in keeping your home clean, Dee looks down upon your home’s condition, simply as she does the household, when she says, “It’s actually a new day for us. But from the method you and Mama live, you ‘d never ever understand it” (1232 ). The contrast in between Dee’s modern thinking, with her polaroid and brand-new name, and Maggie and Mother’s standard views make it harder for Dee to accept the home she has matured in, and causes further distance within the family.

Set after the Black Power motion in the 1970s, “Daily Usage” catches the misguided worth of heritage Dee put on your house. For instance, when she first reaches your house and starts taking image with her Polaroid, Dee “never conjectures without ensuring your home is included” (1229 ). From the beginning, Walker makes it clear that this house is an extremely essential part of Dee’s memories of her family, despite her humiliation of their living conditions. Nevertheless, Dee’s interest in your home’s history and antiquity turns entirely materialistic, when she exclaims, “I can utilize the churn top as a centerpiece for the alcove table” and, in reference to her Grandma’s quilts, says she will “Hang them … As if that was the only thing you might do with quilts” (1231, 1232). Your house is utilized as a device to meet Dee’s incorrect sense of heritage, where she feels the requirement to connect with her roots as a black lady. Again, Dee’s modern Black Power sees clash with her mother’s standard views, when Mama declines to offer Dee the quilts and she declares, “Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts! … She ‘d probably be backward enough to put them to daily use” (1231 ). The conflict enhances between the family when Mother asks, “‘What don’t I comprehend?’ I wished to know. ‘Your heritage.’ [Dee] said” (1232 ). Dee’s misconception of culture represents the time duration the Johnsons live in, where black individuals would take pride in their ancestors and their inheritance.

The Johnson’s home is a gadget utilized by Walker to describe the apparent difference between Dee and the rest of her family. Their different understandings of the house make Dee’s function in the household clear and discuss why she is so distant. Dee attempts to maintain her culture through various ways, such as changing her name or utilizing family heirlooms to re-establish her connection with the black culture, however Maggie and Mother do not feel inclined to re-evaluate what it means to be a black individual. The distinction between their worths show the different worths experienced by the generation gap in the complicated time after the Civil liberty movement.