"Everyday Use", by Alice Walker, shows how education can ruin one's sense of family values. Most people agree that education has numerous positive aspects and is a necessity to succeed in life. However, it can also have some negative consequences. People from poor families that grow up and become educated sometimes lose a sense of family values that was instilled in them during childhood. They become embarrassed about their upbringing. Some people even become ashamed of their parents and the rest of their family after they are educated. In "Everyday Use", education destroys Dee's sense of family values.
"Everyday Use" is about the dissension that arises between a mother and daughter after the daughter becomes educated. Dee (the daughter) is raised in a poor home by her mother, who has only completed the second grade in school. She goes off to college and now she has come back to visit. Dee is very disrespectful to her mother and her sister. When she arrives she takes out a camera and starts taking pictures of her family and the house. It is obvious from the reading that these pictures are not for her own personal pleasure, but rather they are like a trophy that she can show people to let them know that she came from a poor family and still succeeded in life:.
Out she peeks next with a Polaroid. She stoops down quickly and lines up picture after picture of me sitting there in front of the house with Maggie cowering behind me. She never takes a shot without making sure the house is included. When a cow comes nibbling around the edge of the yard she snaps it and me and Maggie and the house (105).
Dee also asks to have some old quilts that have been stitched by hand from past family members. When her mother refuses to give them to her she gets mad and storms off. .
Dee's sense of family values was eradicated by her education. After she came back from college she had no respect for her family.