Reading Response Everyday Use

ReadingResponse: Everyday Use

Alice Walker’s Everyday Use captures a family that hasdisagreements on various issues. More importantly, Walkerincorporates various techniques that help in shaping the plot. Thisessay will highlight the use of concrete imagery, the transition ofthe scenes and summary as well as the importance of the dialogues.

The story uses imagery such as the quilt and the animal images thathave deeper meaning. First, thequilt shows the family heritage since they were made by the twosisters and Mama too (Walker, 1944). In fact, the entire generationhas worn the same clothing to prove that it brings them together.Mama also reveals that Maggie walks like a lame dog (Walker, 1944)while her hand is limp like a cold fish (Walker, 1944). The twoanimal imageries show how Maggie does not treat herself with therespect that a human being deserves. The transition alsohelps in showing how the scenes and the summary shape the plot. Forinstance, the summary helps in introducing the characters andrevealing their behaviors too. The scenes capture the rising actionwhere Dee has changed her name while the climax reaches when they arefighting over the quilts. Later, the falling action shows how Deemoves out but, the narrator and Maggie reach a resolution when theyare able to hangout. The dialogue is critical in revealing how Mamafeels about Dee and Maggie. For instance, Mama knows that Dee highereducation has created a sense of superiority and sophistication sinceshe is not ready to interact with others freely. On the other hand,she believes that Dee’s success has made Maggie be shy and feelsinferior.

In conclusion, the use of imagery, the transition from summary to thescenes and the dialogue serve an important role in the development ofthe story. First, the use of quilts insists on the family hierarchywhile the animal images reveal Maggie’s character, and dialogue aswell as the transition also plays a huge role.


Walker, A., &ampChristian, B. (1944). Everyday Use. New Jersey: RutgersUniversity Press.