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The Mood in “Everyday Use” by A. Walker Essay (Book Review)

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Updated: Aug 16th, 2022

The atmosphere in Everyday Use is generally depressed and tense. From the beginning of the narrative, a sense of antipathy is observed between the main character and Maggie. The tension is mainly explained by the difference in social status and position of the two women. The narrator expresses the difficulties in her life and contrasts them with the flourishing life of another character. At this point, the narrator shows intense envy and hate toward a woman with a better position and physical appearance. The mutual dislike is also supported by racial issues, social status, wealth, and love drama. The narrator is a woman of color with limited rights who has wants Maggie to get married and leave home. The gloominess of the fiction is mainly highlighted by hardships and the dramatic visions of the narrator.

The most influential and amusing part of the fiction was the narrator’s image critiques regarding physical appearance. In the description of her image, the sense of total dissatisfaction and ignorance could be observed. The lines “In real life, I am a large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands” prove her pretension about her appearance (Walker et al., 2020). Another shocking thing is a possible love crush and sympathy of the narrator toward “white man”. In the fiction, the narrator dream about acceptance and a positive attitude from Johny Carson, who is described as a “gray, sporty man” (Walker et al., 2020). Moreover, her fantasies over Johny’s “quick tongue” support the previous claim (Walker et al., 2020). Nevertheless, we can notice her insecurities regarding her attractiveness in the lines “Who can even imagine me looking a strange white man in the eye?”(Walker et al., 2020). These parts add dramatic vision to the whole picture.

Reference

Walker, A., Stephenson, W., Cockburn, A., & Tobar, H. (2020). [Fiction] Everyday use, BY Alice Walker. Harper’s Magazine. Web.

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