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Read Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” and answer the questions below that are geared toward helping you understand her narrative point of view and purpose. Offer specific support from the text. You are encouraged to complete a first draft of the assignment then revise your work.
1. What do you know about the mother of the story?
2. When we have a first-person narrator, we have to decide if she is reliable or unreliable. Do you trust this narrator? Why or why not?
3. What assumptions does the narrator have about her daughters? Do you agree? Why?
4. How would the story be different if it were told from Dee/Wangero’s perspective?
5. Mama and Dee/Wangero have different ideas about personal development. What are they? What are the consequences of their differences?
6. Based on your answers to all of the above, offer your opinion of Mama’s decision to give the quilt to Maggie.
7. How does Walker define heritage?
8. What is Walker’s purpose? What is the central problem she is addressing?
9. What is the theme of “Everyday Use?”