"Everyday Use" is one of the several literally publications by Alice Walker. In this work, the author lets a woman with very little education tell a story that immensely affirms the value of her cultural heritage. This work is presented in a rather simple yet interesting manner that sarcastically captures the realities of everyday life.
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The general set up of this work illuminates Walker's life-long attachment to the rural black womanhood. This is evidenced when Mrs. Johnson grabs her ancestors' quilts from her daughter who wants to hang them on a wall and passes them to Maggie. This motif of quilting has become central to Walker's creative works partly because it gives special insight about the strengths of connecting with one's roots and one's past life, which is essential for creating self-awareness (White, 2005).
The narration of "Everyday Use" is by a rural black woman, and this is a deliberate attempt by the author to give voice to traditional marginalized segments of the population. Surprisingly, everyday life draws several important parallels to the author's own life. Born shortly before the end of the Second World War in Georgia, Walker was brought up in an environment that closely resembles that in everyday life.
The author employs a lot of characters in "Everyday Use". The characters play different roles in the development of the plot of the story. Some characters appear early in plot development while others appear later. A striking personality in "Everyday Use" characters is Grandma Dee who in spite of having died a long time ago represents the family's cherished presence that enlivens the family's connection to their past life (White, 2005).
Walker employs several stylistic devices in "Everyday Use" to examine and explore the themes of her work. This way she gives voice to the uneducated and the poor who cannot raise high enough to address the challenges facing them. The author uses first person point of view and this way the reader learns what the narrator thinks about the future of her two children. This technique reveals the very experience of the often oppressed members of the society.
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