Essay Everyday Use by Alice Walker

Words: 896
Pages: 4

People identify themselves by their colour, culture, language or religion. The identity goes back to generations and it doesn’t start or change within the individual. It is an evolutionary process where each person brings upon some changes. This is best described in Alice Walker’s short story, “Everyday Use”, where three characters, a mother and two daughters, are portrayed differently, each with its different qualities and philosophies on life that are often seen in generations. Heritage is an important part of a person’s life. It tells the person where it came from and helps the person reach its destiny, almost like a road map. In this story, Dee has trouble understanding the meaning of heritage. …show more content…
But her name means a lot to the family as she was named after her grandmother and great-grandmother and would be easier for the family to trace down the generations of the family. “‘That’s about as far back as I can trace it,’ I said. Though, in fact, I probably could have carried it back beyond the Civil War through the branches. ‘Well,’ said Asamalakim, there you are.’ […] ‘There I was not,’ I said, ‘before ‘Dicie’ cropped up in our family, so why should I try to trace it that far back?’” (2243) The mother’s remark throws back the comments made by Hakim-a-barber, meaning that past generations aren’t that important to the couple (Hakim-a-barber and Dee) as they are to her and Maggie. In all, Dee and company have a lack of respect for their history and tradition. They aren’t aware of their shortcomings. They don’t reflect on what they’re doing to their family and ancestors. If they at least held a certain respect for their family and tried understanding why they have come to this, it will show that the two cared and aren’t neglectful. But some things just never