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 does Wangero want the two quilts Grandma Dee pieced rather than the substitute gift her mother offers her?

2. Who is Maggie's father?

3. What is Hakim-a-barber's religion?

4. Once Maggie weds, what is Ms. Johnson free to sit in her yard and do?

5. What does Ms. Johnson note is still in the butter churn during dinner?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What is Aunt Dicie/Big Dee's role in "Everyday Use?"

4. What information is revealed about Grandma Dee in "Everyday Use" even though she never appears onstage?

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

6. What does Ms. Johnson think Maggie believes is her "portion" in life?

7. Alice Walker never names the narrator of this story. The reader is told only that she is a member of the Johnson family. What might the author of "Everyday Use" have intended to convey about the character of Ms. Johnson by not naming her?

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

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

10. Discuss the role of Great Grandpa Ezra in "Everyday Use."

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Compare and contrast Ms. Johnson's relationship with Maggie and her relationship with Dee in "Everyday Use." Which daughter do you think is Ms. Johnson's favorite, or do you think she loves them both equally? Since Maggie is the daughter who stays in the rural south and Dee is the daughter who escapes, what do you think the author is saying through these characters about the identity conflict African Americans experienced after the civil rights movement? Cite examples from the text to support your arguments.

Essay Topic 2

Discuss the character of Hakim-a-barber and how he illustrates Black Muslim culture in the story. What do you think Alice Walker is saying about Black Muslims through him? Cite examples from the text to support your conclusions.

Essay Topic 3

Compare and contrast the characters of Maggie, Dee/Wangero, and Mrs. Johnson in "Everyday Use." Which sister do you think is most like their mother and why? Which character or characters do you think represent southern Black culture? Cite examples from the text to support your arguments.

(see the answer keys)

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