Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Alice Walker’s Self Portrayal In “Everyday Use

Alice foot none draws on her personal experiences growing up as a sh becroppers daughter in tabun to solidistically relate the report card, nonchalant Use. The story features two sisters, Maggie and Dee, who are very different from each other physically, intellectually, and emotionally and their stick, referred to as mamma. One who is unaware of strollers past whitethorn entrust that she equates herself with Dees character. In fact, Maggie more precisely exemplifies the fountains self image. Although wiz seat find similarities among Dees life and strollers, the parallels between her life and Maggies are too abundant to ignore. Additionally, Walkers numbers, For My child Molly Who in the Fifties, describes a very Dee-esque person. In her book, In Search Of Our Mothers Gardens, Walker states regarding the meter that it is a pretty real poem. It really is just somewhat one of my sisters(269). This statement supports the claim that Walker relies on her childhood memories as material for her writing.                                    The first censure of Walkers childhood is found in the super acid and foretoken in usual Use. They are an accurate motion-picture build of her childhood homestead. She begins the story with a description of the yard in which Maggie and florists chrysanthemum a grasp Dees arrival. Mama informs the reader, It is not and a yard. It is an extended living room. When the hard clay is move clean as a floor and the fine grit more or less the edges lined with tiny, irregular grooves, anyone raft come and posture [ . . . ] (Walker, Everyday 89). In a conversation with her nonplus about the cliché concerning greener grass, Walker alludes to having a sand yard as a child. She asserts, Grass on the other status of the fence susceptibility have good fertilizer, while grass on your side might have to grow, if it grows at all, in sand (Walker, In Search 58-59). The yard in Everyday Use is a sanctuary where, as Mama tells the reader, one can wait for the breezes that never come inside the house (Walker, Everyday 89). Discussing her bugger offs art of gardening, Walker praises her for creating that same feeling of haunt where, thus far my memories of poverty are seen through a permeate of blooms (Walker, In Search 241). The house in the story consists of tether rooms and is located in a set out. Similarly, Walkers house contained four rooms and as she reveals in her book, In Search Of Our Mothers Gardens, It shocks me to remember that when we lived here we lived, literally, in a pasture (43). Obviously, the circumstance of Everyday Use is derived directly from Walkers childhood memories.                                                                        Correspondingly, Walker bases the three women in the story, Mama, Dee, and Maggie Johnson, on her mother, her sister, and herself respectively. Mama proclaims that she is a large, big-boned woman with rough man-working hands (Walker Everyday 90). Walker describes her mother, in In Search Of Our Mothers Gardens, as organism large and soft and states, she labored beside not behind my mystify in the fields (238). The older sister, Dee, in the story is found on Walkers sister. Dee is beautiful, intelligent, and curvaceous. She has left home to encounter college, where she, as Cowart assesses in his essay, immersed herself in the liberating culture she would first neural impulse on her bewildered mother and sister, then denounce as oppressive (172). Dee encounters new religions, people, attitudes, and ideals. She chooses to embrace these new values and in doing so denies her unbowed heritage. She goes to the extreme when she renounces her disposed(p) fig, a be that Mama can trace back, through the family, to before the cultivated War, in exchange for the African name, Wangero. Mama explains that Dee wears a adjust of yellows and oranges enough to throw back the light of the sun and has braids in her hair that rope about like small lizards go away behind her ears (Walker, Everyday 91). Dee is the epitome of Walkers sister as described in her poem, For My Sister Molly Who in the Fifties. Critics, such as Cowart, claim, Everyday Use is the prose version of that poem (176). In the poem, Walker chronicles the life of her sister, who:                                                               Knew all the write things that make / Us laugh, [ . . . ]                                                      Who walked among the flowers [ . . .] And looked as bright. /                                             Who made dresses, braided / Hair. [ . . .]                                                                        WHO OFF INTO THE UNIVERSITY / Went exploring [ . . .]                                             WHO set in motion ANOTHER WORLD / Another life / With gentlefolk /                                    Far less(prenominal) trusting / And moved and moved and changed / Her name [ . . . ]                                    WHO SAW US SILENT / Cursed with fear [ . . . ]                                                      (Walker, Revolutionary 16-19).                                                       Walker wrote this poem after the painful realization that her sister was ashamed of her family.          barely as Mama and Dee are representations of Walkers mother and sister, Maggie is a manifestation of the authors problematical, young life. Maggie is quiet, shy, and homely. She hides in corners and as Mama explicates, walks chin on chest, eyes on ground, feet in shuffle, ever since the fire that burned the other house to the ground (Walker, Everyday 90). Mama considers her unintelligent, however; Tuten disagrees and verbalizes her opinion by stating, The subsequent action of the story, however, in no way supports Mamas reading of her younger daughter (127). Maggie actually is or else quick witted and proves this fact by her remarks throughout the story. When Mama speaks of Dees statement that she will come to visit them wherever they live, merely she will never bring her friends, Maggies hilarious retort is, Mama, when did Dee ever have any friends? (Walker, Everyday 91). She also provides liking in the story when she reveals her aversion to her sisters boyfriend, hair, and name change with a single throaty syllable, Uhnnnh (Walker, Everyday 91). When Maggie mighty identifies the whittler of the dash, Aunt Dees first husband whittled the dash, [ . . .] His name was Henry, but they called him stash. Dee comments that, Maggies brain is like an elephants (Walker, Everyday 93). Dees comment about Maggies brain leads the reader to believe that Dee, somewhere deep humble, understands that Maggie is actually smart. When Dee announces that she wants the quilts, Maggie says, after making her true opinion known by first dropping something in the kitchen and then slamming the kitchen door, She can have them, Mama [ . . . ] I can member Grandma Dee without the quilts (Walker, Everyday 94). Maggie has learned how to quilt and can therefore make new quilts to carry on their heritage. At the beginning of the story, Maggie believes that she is unworthy of anything.

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However, in the end Mama gives her not only the gift of the quilts, but also the gift of self-worth. Tuten states about Mama, she confirms her younger daughters self-worth: metaphorically, she gives Maggie her voice. [ . . . ] The text underscores such a reading by stating that immediately after the incident Maggie sits with her sing open (125). She finally has the confidence to speak.                           David Cowart agrees that Maggie is an autobiographical character. He states, That Walker would represent herself in the backward, disfigured Maggie strains credulity only if one forgets that the author was herself a disfigured child (176). Like Maggie, Walker was scarred in childhood by a sibling. Her blood brother shot her in the eye with a BB gun when she was octad years old. Walker clarifies, Where the BB pellet struck there is a glob of whitish scar tissue, a hideous cataract on my eye. Before the accident, she was something of a whiz in school, and self proclaimed, the prettiest. She did not raise her head around others and she tried to hide in her room when relatives came to visit. Walker considered herself very homely and her schoolwork suffered immensely (Walker, In Search 385-389). She too learned to quilt and makes credit to that ability in her works very much.                                                                        Nevertheless, like Maggie, Walker was given the gift of self worth, not from her mother, but from her daughter. Walker relates this story in her book, In Search Of Our Mothers Gardens. When Walker was twenty-s regular(a), her daughter was three. She had been refer with what her child would say when she noticed the deformity in her mothers eye. Walkers daughter, Rebecca, watched a television show called, Big Blue Marble.                                     It begins with a picture of the earth as it appears from the moon. It is bluish, a                            little battered-looking, but full of light, with whitish clouds swirling around it                            [ . . . ] One day when I am putting Rebecca down for her nap, she suddenly                           focuses on my eye [ . . . ] She studies my face intently [ . . . ] She even holds my                           face maternally between her dimpled little hands. Then, [ . . . ] she says, as if it                           whitethorn just possibly have slipped my attention: Mommy, theres a world in your                           eye(392-393).                                                                         Just as Mama gave Maggie the self-assurance, which she needed to survive, Rebecca gave her mother, Alice Walker, the gift of self-acceptance, for which she desperately longed.          Because Walker has written so candidly of her life, the reader is effortlessly able to compass the parallels of Maggies existence and that of Walkers. One also understands that her sister, not Walker, is the model for Dee, and that Mama is undeniably based on her mother. The setting in the story is straight from the authors memories, even down to the pasture in which the house is set. Just as Maggie keeps the art of quilting alive and lives her heritage everyday, Walker records the stories of her life, often in her mothers manner of speaking, and puts her heritage to Everyday Use.

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