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The Importance Of Personal Identity In Alice Walker's Everyday Use

765 words - 4 pages

Author Alice Walker, displays the importance of personal identity and the significance of one’s heritage. These subjects are being addressed through the characterization of each character. In the story “Everyday Use”, the mother shows how their daughters are in completely two different worlds. One of her daughter, Maggie, is shy and jealous of her sister Dee and thought her sister had it easy with her life. She is the type that would stay around with her mother and be excluded from the outside world. Dee on the other hand, grew to be more outgoing and exposed to the real, modern world. The story shows how the two girls from different views of life co-exist and have a relationship with each ...view middle of the document...

Next, Maggie’s direct characterization shows the significant support of Mama’s perspective of the family’s complex heritage. The direct characterization presented in the story helps develop the story to be more literal, in association with indirect characterization. An example is when Maggie asked her mother “Mama, when did Dee ever have any friends?” (110) This presents that Maggie was jealous of Dee and somewhat insecure about herself. “Sometimes Maggie reads to me…She knows she is not bright. Like good looks and money, quickness passed her by.” (110) These direct characterizations about Maggie shows the readers what Maggie is as a person without having the readers really think in depth about her, making it seem Maggie and Mama are the protagonists in the story and for the readers to assume that Dee might be the antagonist.
Lastly, Dee’s both direct and indirect characterization of her demonstrates her outlook of the family’s heritage. Dee’s character has been directly and indirectly characterized in the story to see the full angle of the complex heritage in the family. “Dee is lighter than Maggie, with nicer hair and a fuller...

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