Everyday Use Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why do the Johnsons have dining benches instead of dining chairs?

2. In "Everyday Use," whose school closes after second grade?

3. How many Johnson women are Dee?

4. Who whittles Ms. Johnson's churn top?

5. What unpleasant truth does Ms. Johnson say Maggie realizes about herself?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Dee change her name to Wangero in "Everyday Use?"

2. What do Dee's light skin and her white heel symbolize?

3. What kind of life has Ms. Johnson lived?

4. What does Hakim-a-barber's car indicate about his character and Dee's?

5. Although the exact setting of "Everyday Use" is never specified, what clues in the text indicate where the story takes place?

6. How do African Americans change from the days of Ms. Johnson's youth in the 1920s to the era of the 1960s in which the story "Everyday People" is set?

7. What does the way Dee dresses for her visit with her family indicate about her character?

8. Why doesn't Dee think Maggie deserves their mother's two hand-stitched quilts?

9. What is revealed about Aunt Dicie/Big Dee in "Everyday Use" even though she doesn't appear onstage?

10. What does Maggie's smile at the end of "Everyday Use" indicate?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Maggie and Dee have very different ideas of what their family heritage is. Compare and contrast how each sister defines heritage and the role Grandma Dee's quilts and the family butter churn and other heirlooms play in their concepts of heritage. Cite examples from the text to support your conclusions.

Essay Topic 2

"Everyday Use" was published in 1973 and the characters have lived through the growth of the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Discuss how the geographical, chronological and cultural settings affect the story and how the characters and story might differ if Alice Walker had set it in the north or during the antebellum era instead. Cite examples from the text to support your arguments.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss symbolism and metaphor in "Everyday Use." Give three examples of symbolism in the story and discuss what the symbols are used to convey.

(see the answer keys)

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