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. During the winter, what does Ms. Johnson wear to bed?

3. When boys and girls hang around Dee in her youth, what does she do to entertain them?

4. On the television show in her dreams, what does Ms. Johnson look like?

5. To whom does Ms. Johnson promise to give the quilts Grandma Dee pieced?

Short Essay Questions

1. Is there any significance to the fact that neither Ms. Johnson's marital state nor Dee's are revealed in "Everyday Use?"

2. What does the way Maggie walks and carries herself indicate?

3. 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?

4. In what era is "Everyday Use" set and how does this time period affect the story?

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

6. 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?

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

8. Why does Ms. Johnson prefer that the hand-stitched quilts go to Maggie instead of Dee?

9. What is Ms. Johnson's relationship with her daughter Dee like?

10. What is the history behind Dee's birth name?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The predominant characters in "Everyday Use" are women. Male characters have minor roles and only one male character, Hakim-a-barber, actually appears on stage in the story. Discuss the role of male characters in the story and what you think the author is saying about Black culture by having female characters dominate her story. Cite examples from the text to support your arguments.

Essay Topic 2

Grandma Dee, Aunt Dicie or Big Dee, Grandpa Jarrell, Great-Grandpa Ezra and John Thomas are mentioned in "Everyday Use" but never appear on stage. Discuss these minor characters from the story and how the author uses them to illustrate her themes of family and community. Are there any other themes you think the author uses the characters to convey? Cite examples from the text to support your arguments.

Essay Topic 3

Discuss the use of color in the story. Select at least three examples from the following list and discuss what they mean and how the author uses them to convey a theme or depict a character: Dee's white heels, Dee's yellow organdy dress, Dee's green suit, Dee's yellow and orange dress, Dee's gold earrings and bracelets, or Maggie's pink skirt and red blouse.

(see the answer keys)

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