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Lost Heritage A Critical Analysis of Alice Walkers Every Day Use The way that an individual understands their present life is in direct relation to the current traditions of their culture and people Because America is virtually a compilation of many cultures and traditions it is not uncommon that one could become confused when confronted about the true value of ones heritage and culture Through careful descriptions of the characters settings and quilts in her story Everyday Use Alice Walker demonstrates that a persons value of their heritage and culture is not necessarily represented by possessions but by ones lifestyle and attitude Walker utilizes detailed descriptions and emotional appeal of Dee Wangero the mother and Maggie to show two different valuations of cultural heritage Mama and Maggie represent a content simple and practical way of life where culture and heritage are valued both for usefulness and personal significance Mama the narrator describes herself as a large big-boned woman with rough man-working hands She also states that she knocked a bull calf straight in the brain between the eyes with a sledge hammer and had the meat hung up to chill before night fall While reading these descriptions it is easy to begin to admire Mamas self-sufficiency The impression is also given that Mama has the ability to perform duties as well as if not better than her ancestors Maggie who was burned at a young age lives the same simplistic life as her mother Walker describes Maggie as homely and a lame animal stimulating sympathetic and pitiful emotions because of her bur n scars and shyness However like her mother Maggie possesses skills that many of the past women in the family did such as quilting On the other hand Dee is the representation of a materialistic complex and modern way of life where culture is decorative and trendy Dee is on the other end of the spectrum being thin pretty and
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