Alice Walker's "Everyday Use"

77 views 6 pages ~ 1509 words
Get a Custom Essay Writer Just For You!

Experts in this subject field are ready to write an original essay following your instructions to the dot!

Hire a Writer

Deviance in culture and tradition in “Everyday Use” annotated bibliography. Hoel, Helga. “Personal Names and Heritage: Alice Walker's "Everyday Use"”, American Studies in Scandinavia, Vol. 31, No. 1, 1999.

            The author is a teacher at the Trondheim Cathedral School in Norway and has participated as a guest at the ASANOR American Studies Conference. In her work, Hoel explains the concept of heritage and tradition as seen in the ‘Everyday Use’ story by Alice Walker. According to Hoel, the short story shows the confusion of heritage and lack of African cultural understanding that black people in America tend to have. The article emphasizes its point through Dee, a character in ‘Everyday Use’, who adopts an African tradition without any understanding of the culture. The article is an observation of both the short story and its author. It makes a close connection between real-life comments made by the short story’s author in order to have an accurate understanding of the characters in ‘Everyday Use’

            The article serves an important piece and addition to the other sources that are gathered. It gives a deeper look at the misconceptions that the characters in the short story had about the African heritage. The article will prove as a vital source in terms of understanding the essay’s topic of deviation from culture and tradition and the story’s misconceived ideas about Africa.

Tuten, Nancy. “Alice Walker's “Everyday Use”.” The Explicator, Vol. 51, No. 2, 2010, pp. 125-128,

            Nancy Tuten is an accomplished professor of English at the Columbia College and  is also the head of literature and languages. In her article, she states that language and voice is a powerful tool in ‘Everyday Use’ and different characters use it in both negative and positive ways. The journal explains how Dee uses her voice to demean and oppress the people around her while individuals such as the narrator give others a voice when they lack one e.g. Maggie. The journal is a piece of academic work that deeply researches the short story ‘Everyday Use’ while supporting opinions with other scholarly articles. Tuten’s content is not an overview but an analysis of the short story based on Tuten’s professional understanding and other supporting sources.

            The source serves as a valuable addition to other sources by providing input on how Dee’s knowledge and acceptance of a different culture is used as an oppressive tool. The journal gives an understanding on how the language learned by characters in ‘Everyday Use’ is used to improve the community or to be utilized as a means for getting isolated by certain characters.

Farrell, Susan. “Fight vs. flight: A re-evaluation of Dee in Alice Walker's "Everyday Use"” Studies in Short Fiction, Vol. 35, No. 2, 1998, pp. 179-186.

            The author is an English professor at the Charleston University and has published books based on Kurt Vonnegut. In the article, Farrell explains that the perspective of the narrator of ‘Everyday Use’ creates a biased perception of other characters in the short story. The author explains that the deviation of Dee from her usual family traditions and her other antics should not be used to see her in a negative light but instead one should question the narrator’s bias towards Dee. Farrell concludes that the commonly held view that Dee is selfish and manipulative is a superficial deduction of the story. The academic journal serves as an observation of the world of ‘Everyday Use’ that uses other secondary sources for support.

            The source will be a useful addition to other references as it provides a more positive perspective about the character, Dee. It explores her sense of deviance from her tradition in a contradictory manner compared to other sources that only see Dee as a manipulative and condescending character. Therefore, the source will be a beneficial addition to the essay.

Sarnowski, Joe. "Destroying To Save: Idealism And Pragmatism In Alice Walker's "Everyday Use” Papers On Language & Literature, Vol. 48, No. 3, 2012, pp. 269-286.

            Sarnowski is an author and a professor at the San Diego Christian College’s English department. In his article, Sarnowski analyzes the difference between idealism and pragmatism in American text. He explains that pragmatism is based on ideas that can be fulfilled while idealism is based on wishful thinking. The article uses Walker’s short story to analyze idealism and pragmatism in the American society. Based on his conclusion, Sarnowski believes that Dee is a symbol of pragmatism and her innovative thinking is better than the complacent attitude of her family. The article is an observation of both the American society and the one in ‘Everyday use’ story.

            The article creates a good connection to the other reference by providing insight on Dee’s character and her decision to embrace a new culture and tradition. The author’s provides a good analysis on the pragmatism of Dee’s sense of innovation and appreciation of modernity, making the source a valuable addition to the essay.

Lenzerini, Federico. "Intangible Cultural Heritage: The Living Culture Of Peoples."European Journal Of International Law. Vol. 22, No. 1, 2011, pp. 101-120.

            Frederico is a professor at the University of Siena and has established his profession in international law and European Union law. Frederico’s article communicates about intangible cultural heritage and that more laws should be formulated to protect them. The article explains the significance of intangible cultural heritage and the challenges it faces in the modern world. Frederico comes to the conclusion that for cultural heritage to continue to exists, stronger systems and human rights laws need to be formulated. The article is an observation and academic journal that analyzes the evolution of laws that continue to protect people’s cultures.

             The article connects with other sources due to its examination of culture and people’s traditions. Frederico’s content is able to examine the importance of culture becoming adaptable to the modern world, similar to Dee’s perspective about her community. The article is able to provide insight on whether change of traditions can be negative or positive.

Cowart, David. “Heritage and Deracination in Walker's "Everyday Use."Studies in Short Fiction, Vol. 33, No. 2, 1996.

            Cowart is a professor at the South Carolina University and is in charge of the English language and literature and colleges of arts and sciences. In his work, Cowart states that the culture and politics that Dee has adopted as part of her new identity, limits her ability to improve the success she desires for the African American community. The author analyzes Dee’s decision to let go of her heritage in order to acquire a new one. Cowart concludes that the reason Dee does not gain respect for her ability to escape the ghetto is because of her despise for the same place she comes from. The academic journal is written in the form of an essay, short and lacks any subheadings within it.

            The article connects with the other references due to its emphasis of culture, heritage and tradition which are the key elements of the essay. The author of the article gives a clear descriptions on the influence that change in tradition has on Dee and what it says about her character and nature. Therefore, the source serves as useful information on understanding the Dee’s decisions on embracing a different identity.

Raman, Shanti. “Cultural Identity and Child Health.” Journal of Tropical Pediatrics, Vol. 52, No. 4, 2006, pp. 231-234,

            Shanti Raman is a consultant pediatrician that works as part of UNSW Sydney in the department of community pediatrics. Raman’s article states that due to globalization, cultural changes should be taken seriously as they influence a child’s well-being. The article explains that cultural identity determines how child turns out when they grew up including their sense of belonging. The article is an academic journal that compiles different research data on cultural changes and the influence on children.

            The article provides a clear explanation on the importance of cultural identity while encouraging the importance of the concept being upheld. Compared to other resources that talk about ‘Everyday Use’, this academic journal does not take any particular interest in the story. Instead, it gives a valid amount of research on how children’s identity are shaped by their family’s culture and heritage.

Walker, Alice. “Everyday Use.” 1973.

            Alice Walker is a renowned activist and novelist that has even the Pulitzer price. She has written successful books such as the ‘The Color Purple’ and other titles that have made her literary icon. The book demonstrates the impact of cultural deviation and how education and knowledge can be a tool to oppress people and at the same time uplift them. The author shows a family that has been divided by difference in opinion on family heritage, especially after the daughter, Dee, decides to change her name and adopt an African one.

            The book will be of central focus and all other sources will revolve around it. It will provide the information about the characters while providing insight on the characters who are affected and influenced by a change in culture and family traditions.

November 24, 2023



Books Writers

Number of pages


Number of words




Writer #



Expertise Literature Review
Verified writer

Tony is a caring and amazing writer who will help you with anything related to English literature. As a foreign exchange student, I received the best kind of help. Thank you so much for being there for me!

Hire Writer

This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Eliminate the stress of Research and Writing!

Hire one of our experts to create a completely original paper even in 3 hours!

Hire a Pro