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. Who escapes unharmed from the tragedy that befell the old Johnson house?

2. At the beginning of "Everyday Use," with whom is Ms. Johnson waiting in the yard?

3. How does Ms. Johnson feel about Wangero's new name?

4. In what is the Johnson home located?

5. Why does Dee think the quilts will become rags in five years?

Short Essay Questions

1. To whom is Dee referring when she says "It's really a new day for us" at the end of the story?

2. Why does Dee include the house in every picture she takes with her camera if she dislikes the house?

3. 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?

4. What is the significance of the sunglasses Dee wears at the end of the story and the fact that they hide most of her face?

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

6. What is the significance of the title of "Everyday Use?"

7. What references to racial prejudice are there in "Everyday Use?"

8. What happens when Dee tries to share her educational knowledge with her mother and sister?

9. How does Dee differ from her mother and sister?

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

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

The Johnson family's quilts are a recurring motif throughout "Everyday Use." Cite three examples from the text of the use of this motif and discuss what you think it represents in each example.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss Ms. Johnson's dream about appearing on the Johnny Carson show with Dee. What significance do you think this dream has to the story? What does the dream reveal about Ms. Johnson's relationship with her daughter? What does the dream reveal about Ms. Johnson's feelings about herself versus how she wishes she was? What do you think Alice Walker is trying to say through this dream? Cite examples from the text to support your conclusions.

(see the answer keys)

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