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Word Count: 1,025
Lost Heritage By contrasting the family characters in Everyday Use Walker illustrates the mistake made by some people of placing the significance of heritage solely in material objects Walker presents Mama and Maggie the younger daughter as an example that heritage in both knowledge and form passes from one generation to another through learning and experience To them heritage is something that a person lives and is made up of family members and the knowledge that gets passed down from them However Dee the eldest daughter represents a misconception of heritage or a false heritage She believes her heritage lies in her African roots from the distant past She does not think that her family is a part of her heritage only the objects they possess During Dees visit to Mama and Maggie the contrast of the characters becomes a conflict Dee misplaces the significance of her true heritage in her desire for what she believes is her racial heritage Mama and Maggie symbolize the connection between generations and the true heritage that passes between them Mama and Maggie continue to live together happily in their humble home Mama is a robust woman who does what is needed to maintain the upkeep of the land I am a large big-boned woman with rough man-working handsI can kill and clean a hog as mercilessly as a manOne winter I knocked a bull calf straight in the brain with a sledgehammer and had the meat hung up to chill before nightfall 492 Maggie is the daughter who is homely and ashamed of the burn scars that go down her arms and legs helps Mama by cleaning up inside and around the house before Dee arrives Neither Mama nor Maggie are modernly educated persons but they take of their land and themselves By living with and helping Mama Maggie realizes the importance of her heritage and experiences the lives of her ancestors through Mama
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