Everyday Use Alice Walker Story Discussion All questions must be answered
You can use the link of “Everyday Use”, or ask me to get the text
1. What is the basic conflict in Everyday Use”?
2. What is the tone of Walker’s story? By what means does the author communicate it?
3. From whose point of view is “Everyday Use” told? What does the story gain from being told from this point of view- -ins
4. What does the narrator of the story feel toward Dee? What seems to be Dee’s present attitude toward her mother and
5. What do you take to be the author’s attitude toward each of her characters? How does she convey it?
6. What levels of meaning do you find in the story’s. title?
7. Contrast Dee’s attitude toward her heritage with the attitudes of her mother and sister. How much truth is there in Dee’s
accusation that her mother and sister don’t understand their heritage?
8. Does the knowledge that “Everyday Use” was written by a black writer in any way influence your reactions to it? Explain.
The process of characterization–which will be the topic of our second major essay later on–is a process every author who has ever written uses to create his or her characters–even when the “character” is a robot, rabbit, straw or tin man, literally every character used in any writing. Authors have only four options to create a character:
1. have the character say something
2. have the character do something
3. have someone else reveal something about the character
or, more rarely,
4. step in as the author-narrator and tell about the character himself or herself
Alice Walker does nothing less than an absolutely amazing job of characterizing Dee for us–even though some of us will take her differently from others–and she does this through the things Dee does, days, and some few things her sister and mother tell us about Dee. Alice Walker does not ever step into this story and interrupt the narrator’s, Ms. Johnson’s monologue and narrative about Dee’s visit on this one occasion. For this discussion, point out one very important thing Dee does, Dee says, or Maggie or her mother says about Dee, something that really reveals something important about Dee. This will not be difficult as you very likely already know. Please follow the directions about participation and the quality and substance of your posts. More is better, and you will, therefore, receive somewhere between 1 and 100 points for your effort on this discussion. Two substantive posts to other students are required each week in order to receive full points.
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