Heritage and Culture in Everyday Use.
Everyday Use is a story by Alice Walker is a story most likely set in the late "60s or early "70s. The central characters are Mama and her two daughters Dee (Wangero), and Maggie. The story itself is about Mama and Maggie waiting on their sister to arrive to their farm. But when Dee (Wangero) arrives, it is not what they expected. This story also has an underlying message in it as well. Everyday Use addresses the rarely talked about misguided new black mentality and highlights the individuals that jumped on the black power bandwagon with no real loyalty to its cause, and no real sense of what the struggle was all about. .
Mama is narrator throughout the entire story. She described herself as "a large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands" (121). Her description of herself let's us, the reader, know that she is very proud nor is she embarrassed of who she is in physical stature nor her personality or character when she states: .
"I can work outside all day, breaking ice to get water for washing; I can eat pork liver cooked over the open fire minutes after it comes steaming from the hog. One winter I knocked a bull calf straight in the brain between the eyes with a sledge hammer and had the meat hung up to chill before nightfall". (121).
Maggie's character is introduced to us in the very first paragraph of the story, "Maggie will be nervous until after her sister goes: she will stand hopelessly in corners homely and ashamed of the burn scars down her arms and legs, eyeing her sister with a mixture of envy and awe" (120). Maggie's character is the stereotypical shy and standoffish little southern black girl living on a farm post Civil War era. Maggie always seems to be .
quietly shuffling around the house ducked off in corners and saying hardly anything throughout the entire story.
The setting of the story is roughly around the early 70's late 60's.