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 is the narrator of "Everyday Use?"

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

3. What does the person who wants the butter churn top tell Ms. Johnson she will do with it?

4. At the beginning of "Everyday Use," what kind of tree does Ms. Johnson say she likes to sit outside and look up into while enjoying the breeze?

5. Which Johnson women know how to quilt?

Short Essay Questions

1. Which character in "Everyday Use" is a foil character and what helps identify that character as a foil character?

2. What level of education does Dee have and how does it differ from the educational levels of her mother and sister?

3. What is Ms. Johnson's relationship with her daughter Maggie like?

4. What is the significance of Dee's always wanting to read to people in her youth?

5. How did Dee react when her mother offered her a quilt before Dee left for college and what has caused her to change her opinion about having a quilt now?

6. Explain how Ms. Johnson looks in real life and how her actual appearance differs from how she appears in her dreams.

7. Describe Dee's relationship with Jimmy T and what it indicates about her.

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

9. What do the Johnson family heirlooms like the butter churn and patchwork quilts indicate about the Johnson family and about southern Black culture?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Ms. Johnson is the narrator of "Everyday Use." Do you think she is the most appropriate narrator for this story? Why or why not? Discuss her effectiveness as narrator and how the story would change if Dee or Maggie narrated it instead. 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 how the following characters either defy or define stereotypes of Black women living in the rural south: Dee/Wangero, Ms. Johnson, Grandma Dee, and Maggie. Are their backgrounds and character traits typical or atypical of the stereotype of Black women living in the rural south in the 1960s? Cite examples from the text to support your arguments.

(see the answer keys)

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