Heritage is an important factor to every developing family. Heritage helps to
develop a persons values showing what they believe in. Particularly about the values of
their family. In the story Everyday Use, by Alice Walker, value of heritage is a main topic.
Throughout this story there are many different words used to describe what Wangero
(Dee), Maggie, and their mother value. These choices of words all play an important role
in the contrasting values of these people and the battle over heritage.
The mother of Wangero and Maggie is the narrator of this story. It is evident at
the beginning of this story, when the narrator describes her clean yard as an extended
living room, that she is proud of her home. Her house is somewhat of a shanty, meaning
well run down and not very luxurious. Being proud of her home shows that she values
what she has and doesn't complain about not living in luxury.
The narrator also shows that she believes in having a close family. This is evident
when she describes a dream of hers. The dream is about being on a TV program where
Dee, her daughter also known as Wangero, comes on and hugs her; telling her how she
appreciates all she has done. This experience of the hug in public shows that she values her
daughter being close to her. This hug being in public shows that the narrator wants the
world to see the family's interconnectedness. The narrator also shows her closeness with
her other daughter Maggie, later in the story, by referring to her as "my Maggie.”
The mother also demonstrates a strong value in hardwork. This value of hardwork
is proven when she describes herself as a women who can hunt and work outside all day.
She is a single mother and it is apparent that she is devoted to her family because of how
hard she works to support their needs.
Maggie is the youngest daughter of the narrator; she has many of the same values
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