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Heritage Essay

  • Submitted by: pixie70
  • on September 1, 2013
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,502 words

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Below is an essay on "Heritage" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Heritage

Every person is raised by a certain set of values and morals passed down by previous generations. As individuals, we view and experience our heritage in diverse ways. "Everyday Use" written by Alice Walker, includes the characters Dee, Maggie, and Mama. Everyday use is narrated by Mama so the audience gets a third person view of the family. It is about how the family heritage plays out during Dee’s visit home after a long absence. Throughout the story Dee is seen as distancing herself from her family, her past, and her heritage.
Mama, describes herself as a "large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands.” (Walker). She goes on to describe the many things she can do and has accomplished. Most of the items that Mama has were inherited from past family members. Like the traits and items passed down through the generations, she seems more interested in their everyday use, and less interested in their commercial value.
Maggie is Mama’s youngest daughter who lives with her, but she will soon marry John Thomas. Mama describes Maggie as a thin, and slow minded. “She will stand hopelessly in corners, homely and ashamed of the burn scars down her arms and legs, eying her sister with a mixture of envy and awe.”(Walker) In this description she obviously thought that Maggie thought of herself as less than Dee. But Maggie is the daughter that has embraced her heritage and the simple life that Mama holds dear.  
Mama first describes a scene while waiting for a visit from her daughter Dee” You've no doubt seen those TV shows where the child who has "made it" is confronted, as a surprise; by her own mother and father, tottering in weakly from backstage. Sometimes I dream a dream in which Dee and I are suddenly brought together on a TV program of this sort.”(Walker) Mama at this point seems to be delighted with what Dee has accomplished, yet also wanting her to return to the family and their way of life.
When their house burned down Mama was sure that Dee...

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