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Word Count: 808
Andrew Hvatum Characterization in Every day use for your Grandmother In the endless march of time old ideas are always cast aside for more contemporary alternatives This phenomenon is no more apparent than in the gap between generations Children often push their parents to adopt new ideas and accept new doctrines This constant strain between generations often leads to turmoil Because of its many intricacies authors often have difficulty illustrating this conflict Yet in the short story Every day use for your Grandmother Alice Walker adroitly demonstrates the age-old conflict between generations through the characterization of Dee To understand the character of Dee one must understand the family she originated from Dees mother a roughed out woman designed for labor saw the world as it was and did not expect respite from its harsh realities She thought to herself but that is a mistake I know even before I wake up6 The mother sees her dream as a mistake because it does not fit in with her simple southern life and her coarse manner Dee on the other hand sees the world as a place filled with opportunities The mother thinks that no is a word the world never learned to say to her2 This thought is further elaborated on later bringing the reader to believe that Dee is stubborn in nature Dee is also described as a blunt person who does not waver when attempting to get what she wants The mother describes Dee as a person for whom hesitation was no part of her nature6 This lack of hesitation later leads to conflict between the Mother and Dee Clearly Dee is highly influenced by her mother yet not by emulating her but by establishing herself as a separate person Through out the story Walker presents the rich image of an austere southern area The mother as she describes the house enforces this image She described the house as having no
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