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Heritage is an important factor to every developing family. Heritage helps to develop a persons values showing what they believe in. Particularly about the values of their family. In the story Everyday Use, by Alice Walker, value of heritage is a main topic. Throughout this story there are many different words used to describe what Wangero (Dee), Maggie, and their mother value. These choices of words all play an important role in the contrasting values of these people and the battle over heritage. The mother of Wangero and Maggie is the narrator of this story. It is evident at the beginning of this story, when the narrator describes her clean yard as an extended living room, that she is proud of her home.
Her house is somewhat of a shanty, meaning well run down and not very luxurious. Being proud of her home shows that she values what she has and doesnt complain about not living in luxury. The narrator also shows that she believes in having a close family. This is evident when she describes a dream of hers. The dream is about being on a TV program where Dee, her daughter also known as Wangero, comes on and hugs her; telling her how she appreciates all she has done. This experience of the hug in public shows that she values her daughter being close to her.
This hug being in public shows that the narrator wants the world to see the familys interconnectedness. The narrator also shows her closeness with her other daughter Maggie, later in the story, by referring to her as my Maggie. The mother also demonstrates a strong value in hardwork. This value of hardwork is proven when she describes herself as a women who can hunt and work outside all day. She is a single mother and it is apparent that she is devoted to her family because of how hard she works to support their needs. Maggie is the youngest daughter of the narrator; she has many of the same values as her mother.
She was burned in a fire at a young age and is ashamed of her appearance. She is often intimidated by her older sister which is confirmed when Dee arrives to visit and Maggie attempts to run into the house. The intimidation is a result of Maggies belief that Dee gets whatever she wants and is not accustomed to the word no. Maggies main value is her heritage. She appreciates things made by her ancestors. She also has knowledge about her ancestry.
An example of this knowledge is when Dee asks to have a dasher. When asked if Uncle Buddy whittled the dasher Maggie is quick to respond Aunt Dees first husband whittled the dash; his name was Henry but they called him Stash. Showing that Maggie knows who did what and appreciates the Dee, on the other hand, is very different from Maggie and her mother. She has been put through college and is well educated as a result. Dee returns to visit her mother and asks for several objects within the house. Her value of heritage seems to serve more as a memory of where she came from, rather than an appreciation of her familys achievements. She asks for household objects such as a butter churn top, a dasher, and some old quilts.
She wants to use these objects for different purposes than what they were originally for which exhibits that she doesnt appreciate their uses and is more accustomed Another factor that shows Dees disrespect of her heritage is her name change. She changes her name to Wangero maybe suggesting a change in religion. When Dee is asked by her mother why she changed her name Dee replies, I couldnt bear it any longer, being named after the people who oppress me. Her mother then tells her she was named after her Aunt Dicie, but Dee continues to argue about the name. Obviously Wangero is not happy with her family name showing a lack respect for her ancestors. The mother gives in and says she will call her by Wangero, letting us know that she is only concerned about The choice of words a person uses can portray the values they have.
Choice of words can often reveal intelligence, anger, respect, or disrespect. When referring to an individual heritage, choice of words is important. From words used by someone to describe their heritage we can tell how they feel about issues pertaining to their family. In this story the choice of words used by the narrator and Maggie show their respect for where they came from. Wangeros choice of words, however, shows that she is not happy with her heritage and suggests that she wants to develop a new heritage of her own. The choice of words in this family obviously plays on important role in the battle over heritage.
My papers weaknesses are its contrasting moments. I believe my papers strengths are its view on many different people and it explains each one. I also believe that I am getting better on my conclusions which has seemed to be my weakness. Bibliography:.
Research essay sample on Heritage