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Word Count: 485
Through distinct family members and views in Everyday Use Alice Walker demonstrates the significance of understanding our present life in relation to the traditions of our own people and culture Using careful images and attitudes Walker demonstrates which factors play a part to the values of ones tradition and culture she illustrates that these are represented not by the possession of objects or sheer appearances but by ones lifestyle and attitude In Everyday Use Walker embodies the different sides of culture and heritage that is represented in the quilts through the characters oft the mother the narrator Dee and Maggie Mama knows the traditions and history behind the quilts she puts her ancestors memories to every day use The story clearly endorses Mamas simple unsophisticated view of heritage She has inherited many customs and traditions from her ancestors She describes herself as a large big-boned woman with rough man-working hands355 She also describes her various abilities including I can kill and clean a hog as mercilessly as a manI can work outside all day breaking ice to get water for washing355 While these feats are not extraordinary this exemplifies what Mama has learned from her ancestors and that being resilient and tough is apart of her heritage Mama is very proud of her abilities and her accomplishments Dee is aware the quilts are hand made by her ancestors nevertheless remains unaware of the knowledge and history behind them The quilts are composed of an electric array of material including scraps of dresses Grandma Dee had worn fifty years ago Bits and pieces of Grandpa Jarrells paisley shirts And one teeny faded blue piecethat was from Great Grandpa Ezras uniform he wore in the Civil War359 Dee decides she wants the quilts to hang on the wall and deems them priceless However Mama clearly remembers offering Dee a quilt to take with her to college and Dee proclaiming they were old fashioned and out
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