Everyday Use Short Essay - Answer Key

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Short Essay Questions Key

1. In Alice Walker's "Everyday Use," who is the antagonist of the story and what identifies that character as the antagonist?

In Alice Walker's "Everyday Use," the antagonist of the story is Dee/Wangero and what identifies her as the antagonist is her conflict with the other characters. Dee is ashamed of her family's poverty and lack of education and hates their house. She thinks her mother and sister don't understand their heritage. She gets mad and leaves when her mother gives the family heirloom quilts to her sister, Maggie, instead of to her.

2. Who is the protagonist of "Everyday Use" and what identifies that character as the protagonist?

Ms. Johnson, the mother in the story, is the protagonist of "Everyday Use" and what identifies her as the protagonist is her status as the viewpoint character in the story. In addition, Ms. Johnson is the protagonist of the story since a story's protagonist is the main character or hero. Ms. Johnson ultimately becomes the hero of this story by giving her heirloom quilts to Maggie, the daughter who will most appreciate them and the family heritage they represent and the daughter who most needs to feel she is sometimes blessed by the universe.

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