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"Everyday Use" And "A Pair Of Tickets"

1311 words - 5 pages

"Everyday Use" and "A Pair of Tickets"In "Everyday Use," Alice Walker writes about a black mother and her two daughters, Maggie and Dee. Both the mother and Maggie are traditional characters, who are proud of their black heritage. However, Dee is the opposite of her mother and sister. She has false thoughts of her heritage. In "A Pair of Tickets," the author, Amy Tan, describes Jing Mei's change in her view of her Chinese heritage during her travel to China. Although both of the authors write about the differences between genuine heritage and false ideas of heritage, Alice Walker conveys the differences characters by mainly describing what the three main characters do, say and think, while Amy Tan handles this material by mostly portraying what Jing Mei sees, hears and thinks. First of all, how the mother, the narrator of "Everyday Use," and Maggie behave are not only genuine heritages, but also the opposite of Dee's false idea of heritage. The mother is a large and big-boned woman, who can do the jobs that men do, such as milking cows. Her appearance shows a part of her genuine heritage of being a black person, and she works very hard in order to serve her children and family. This is how the mother cherishes her heritage. Although she knows that Dee wants her to lose some weight, have lighter skin and hair, and a quicker tongue, she still loves her black heritage and her appearance. She will not change it in order to please Dee or any other person. Another example of the mother's pride in her heritage occurs at the beginning of the story, where the narrator describes her yard as a comfortable and beautiful place, even though the yard may be just a small and clean one. Also, at the end of the story, mama and Maggie sit in the yard just enjoying life. This example shows that mama enjoys her life and is satisfied with her lifestyle and heritage. Furthermore, symbolism is another way Walker conveys the heritage. For example, quilts have a very important symbolism generation to another. Maggie, like her mother, also cherishes her heritage. She will put quilts to everyday use, as Dee says, to remember her grandparents. Besides, her mother says, "She can always make some more; Maggie knows how to quilt" (Par69). These examples show that Maggie also cherishes the quilts by knowing how to quilt them, she inherits the skill of quilting from her grandmother because she is proud of her family's roots and carries on the tradition of quilting. Although Maggie is always shy and lacks confidence, she deeply understands and values her family's lifestyle and heritage. Compare to Maggie and the mother, Dee does not understand her true heritage and does not like it at all. For example, she hates the traditional and humble family, so she lives away from her mother and sister to seek for her ideal life. This is why she looked so calm and impervious even when the old house of her family burned to ashes. She is a self-centered and pea cockish person. For...

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