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Literature Analysis - Girl and Everyday Use

            Motherhood is a great honor, but yet it is one of the most inherently difficult and enslaving tasks imaginable. Since the cradle of civilization, mothers have been called upon to selflessly care for their children and their families, often putting themselves last. Clearly as seen in both Alice Walker's "Everyday Use" and Jamaica Kincaid's "Girl", motherhood can be a difficult and heartbreaking thing. Whether it be because a mother pushes a daughter to hard to become something she may fear in herself or whether it be a mother whose sacrifice and kind nature is overlooked by a more educated, yet self absorbed daughter, motherhood is complicated and is full on conflict. These conflicts shaped both the "daughter" and Dee, for better or worse. Both Walker and Kincaid, using very different narratives, suggest that being a successful mother involves so much more than simply preaching to your children about how to live; Both short stories seem to suggest that successful motherhood depends upon letting children find their own way, even though this may lead to severe pain and consequences.
             From the onset of the story, Walker makes it clear that Momma's relationship with Dee has been strained for some time. Momma points out to a dream she had where Dee and her got to reunite on what seems to be the late night johnny Carson Show. Momma points out her thick, almost brutish appearance when describing herself as "large big-boned woman with rough, man working hands" (Walker 327). She then sadly eludes to the fact that in this dream, she does not appear in her normal simple physical appearance, but rather she is portrayed in the way Dee wants her to look, "a hundred pounds lighter, my skin like an uncooked barley pancake as my hair glistens in the hot bright lights" (Walker 327). Momma clearly has some resentment and sadness regarding Dee because Dee is ashamed of Momma and her humble upbringings.

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