Sibling Comparison of Everyday Use

Topics: Confidence, Family, Self-confidence Pages: 3 (1055 words) Published: July 13, 2011
Sibling Similar Differences
“Everyday Use” by Alice Walker tells a story of a mother who narrators the visit of her daughter from college and the conflict between her two daughters. The mother, named Mrs. Johnson, gives descriptions of her daughters’, Dee and Maggie, personality and looks, and each daughter description is opposite of each other. Additionally, Mrs. Johnson describes each daughter’s education level, which also differs. The only hidden similarity between these two sisters is the fact each one of them lacks confidence. Dee’s lack of confidence is more implicit, while Maggie’s lack of confidence is explicit. By doing this, Walker has the mother to develop a contrast between the sisters’ personality, appearance, and education, but forms a similarity from each sister’s lack of confidence. Mrs. Johnson first reveals the differences between Dee’s and Maggie’s looks and personality. Mrs. Johnson states, “Dee is lighter than Maggie, with nicer hair and a full figure” (paragraph 10). This comparison of the two sister show that Mrs. Johnson favors Dee’s lighter skin tone, grade of hair and body shape over her other daughter Maggie. Moreover, Mrs. John describes Dee’s foot as “neat looking, as if God himself had shaped them with a certain style” (paragraph19). Mrs. Johnson statement makes it more evident that she praises Dee’s appearance more by including God more so in Dee’s creation and never mentions it for Maggie’s creation. By her favoring the overall look of Dee causes her daughter to feel more deserving of nicer things and seemingly more confident than Maggie. However, this pedestal that Mrs. Johnson put Dee on, makes Dee feel superior to her family that causes Dee to reject her heritage and upbringing. Contrary to Dee’s look and personality, Maggie is described to be less appealing and confident. Mrs. Johnson portrays Maggie to be “thin” (paragraph 7) and that “good looks…passed her by” (paragraph 13). This portrait of Maggie is insulting for a...

Cited: Walker, Alice. “Everyday Use.” Literature: An introduction to Reading
and Writing. Ed. Edgar V. Roberts. 9th ed. New York: Pearson Longman,
2009, 108-114.
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