Heritage

Length: 3 Pages 820 Words

Heritage is an important factor to every developing family. Heritage helps to develop a persons values showing what they believe in. Particularly about the values of their family. In the story Everyday Use, by Alice Walker, value of heritage is a main topic. Throughout this story there are many different words used to describe what Wangero (Dee), Maggie, and their mother value. These choices of words all play an important role in the contrasting values of these people and the battle over heritage. The mother of Wangero and Maggie is the narrator of this story. It is evident at the beginning of this story, when the narrator describes her clean yard as an extended living room, that she is proud of her home. Her house is somewhat of a shanty, meaning well run down and not very luxurious. Being proud of her home shows that she values what she has and doesn’t complain about not living in luxury. The narrator also shows that she believes in having a close family. This is evident when she describes a dream of hers. The dream is about being on a TV program where Dee, her daughter also known as Wangero, comes on and hugs her; telling her how she appreciates all she has done. This experience of the hug in public s Continue...


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Dee returns to visit her mother and asks for several objects within the house. She was burned in a fire at a young age and is ashamed of her appearance. Her mother then tells her she was named after her Aunt Dicie, but Dee continues to argue about the name. Obviously Wangero is not happy with her family name showing a lack respect for her ancestors. The mother also demonstrates a strong value in hardwork. When referring to an individual heritage, choice of words is important. Wangero's choice of words, however, shows that she is not happy with her heritage and suggests that she wants to develop a new heritage of her own. The mother gives in and says she will call her by Wangero, letting us know that she is only concerned about her family being happy. Another factor that shows Dee's disrespect of her heritage is her name change. Maggie's main value is her heritage. The choice of words in this family obviously plays on important role in the battle over heritage. This hug being in public shows that the narrator wants the world to see the family's interconnectedness. She is a single mother and it is apparent that she is devoted to her family because of how hard she works to support their needs. Choice of words can often reveal intelligence, anger, respect, or disrespect.

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