Identity is something that concerns everyone of us whether we like it or not. It is made up of many small pieces, some go far back, long before you were born, some you collect as you go. Together these small bits create not only an identity, but your personality.
Alice walker is a famous black -American writer who is concerned about the identity of black Americans, and especially the black female experience. She was born in rural Georgia and was the youngest child of a poor sharecropper. Her short story "Everyday use", written in 1973 draws on her own background, but also has a lot to say about the black female identity. .
The narrator, the mom, is a middle-aged black woman, big-boned, rough with man-working hands. Her housebound left her and their two daughters a long time ago, and now she lives with her youngest daughter Maggie, in a primitive house in a poor corner of the city. .
Maggie is a shy, serious and solitary girl around the age of 17-18. After she was involved in a fire accident many years ago, she has been both mentally and physically reduced. Her mother describe her physics like this:.
"Have you ever seen a lame animal, perhaps a dog run over by some careless person rich enough to own a car, sidle up to someone who is ignorant enough to be kind to him? That is the way my Maggie walks.".
The oldest daughter Dee, on the other hand, is the total opposite of her sister. She is elegant, stylish, on the surface self confident, but also arrogant, and likes to insult and make fools out of others. Maybe because deep inside she is insecure? Inspite of this, the mom considers Dee the most perfect daughter and dreams of being in one of those TV shows, where the child who has "made it" is confronted by her own parents, as a surprise, and everyone embraces and smiles to each other.
Dee lives up north, and does not have much contact with the rest of her family. One day she appears with her boyfriend, as a hippie, suddenly all concerned about her black heritage.