Family is the most important social group we are going to be a part of in our time on this earth. We often associate family with affection and security. In a good family each member wants the best for the others, but for some the word family can also be associated with mistrust and desertion.
Unlike good families were each member wants the best for the others, where in disunited families the members may use the other members of the family for their own benefit unconcern of the rest of the family.
An example of this scenario can be found in Alice walker ́s short story “Everyday Use” from 1973. The short story is about Mamma and Maggie waiting for Dee to visit which is Mamma ́s daughter and Maggie ́s sister. Throughout the story Mamma reelects on the difference between Dee and Maggie. The short story also deals with themes like heritage, identity and tradition.
There is clearly a contrast between Dee and her mother Mamma and her younger sister Maggie. The contrast is especially significant between the two sisters. Dee is described by her mother as an attractive and a confident woman. She has always been aware of her own style since she was a little girl.
The mother already makes us aware of this as Dee arrive. “But even the first glimpse of leg out of the car tells me it is Dee. Her feet were always neat looking, as if God himself had shaped them with a certain style.” (p 54 L 105-107).
She is confident and well-educated, but she also comes across as arrogant and uncaring. Dee ́s arrogant and judgmental attitude effects Mamma and Maggie, they both have the desire for Dee ́s approval. She is also rejecting her heritage by changing her name to Wangero why she changes her name can clearly seen on page 55. “No, Mama,” she says. “Not ‘Dee,’ Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo!”3 “What happened to ‘Dee’?” I wanted to know.
“She’s dead,” Wangero said. “I couldn’t bear it any longer, being named after the people who oppress me.” (p 55 l41-143). This suggest that she do not see her family as something she is proud off and she tries to suppress it and create her own heritage and identity.
Another example of Dee ́s selfish behavior and her disrespect for her family is the story about the burned house.
Maggie was burned in the family ́s old house. Mamma carried her out in her arms, while Dee watch the house burn. Dee was evidently happy and delight about the fire, due to her disgust for the house. Her reasons for