Sibling Jealousy Essay

1346 words - 5 pages

Sibling JealousyIn today's society, the parents of children want nothing more than their children to get along and play well with one another. However, there will come a time when the siblings will experience some kind of jealousy toward one another while they are still living under the same roof, and this is visible within Alice Walker's short story titled, "Everyday Use." It is very apparent that Maggie and Dee, also known as Wangero Leeewanika Kemanjo, experience sibling jealousy within the story due to the fact that Maggie is not as educated as her sister, Maggie also has some physical scarring from a traumatic accident, and Maggie does not have the materialistic objects that her sister has. However, Wangero Leeewanika Kemanjo, makes comments that reinforces that she is more educated than Maggie and her mother and she has more materialistic items than Maggie and her mother.The first sign that there is some sibling jealousy between Maggie and Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo is that Maggie is not as educated as her sister. The author, Alice Walker, states that Mrs. Johnson and the local church raised money to send her oldest daughter, Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo, to school in Augusta (7). It is thought that Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo read to her mother, Mrs. Johnson, and her sister, Maggie (7) "She [Wangero] washed us in a river of make-believe, burned us with a lot of knowledge we didn't necessarily need to know (7). When an individual is relatively smarter than another individual, they will include unnecessary information to try to make the person they are talking to feel unintelligent. As a reader, I can only assume that that is what Wangero is doing to her sister and her mother. Intelligence is a powerful tool to have in life, and I can see where Maggie would have some jealousy toward her sister. Maggie may feel that she is not "worth anything" because she is not well-educated and does not have the same mental capacity as her sister. Wangero also makes a rude comment. "Maggie's brain is like an elephant's" (11). At first, the reader may think that this is a nice comment. However, it can be taken in two very different ways. Due to the elephant possessing the largest brain within the animal kingdom, it is thought that the elephant is a very intelligent creature (Hullinger). Wangero might also trying to let the reader know that Maggie is very large and slow. Due to Maggie not being well-educated, this may be a reason why Maggie does not speak much or does not offer up her opinion throughout the story because she is afraid that her sister, Wangero, will make fun of her because of the "lack of her intelligence."The second sign that there is some sibling jealousy between Maggie and Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo is that Maggie has some physical scarring from a traumatic accident that happened earlier in her life. The narrator lets her audience know that Maggie was burned very badly due to a house fire when she was younger (7). The narrator gives her audience a...

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