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. When Ms. Johnson finds Wangero's name hard to pronounce, what does Wangero say?

2. In the story's first paragraph, to which room of the house does Ms. Johnson compare her yard, saying it's an extension of that room?

3. Which member of the Johnson family always criticizes the others?

4. What is the relationship of the person who whittles Ms. Johnson's butter churn top to Aunt Dicie/Big Dee?

5. What has Ms. Johnson done to her yard at the beginning of the story?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Why does Ms. Johnson agree to call Dee by the African name Wangero after reminding Dee of the family heritage behind her birth name?

3. Describe John Thomas and his role in the story.

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

5. What is Maggie's relationship with Dee like?

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

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

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

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

10. Describe the Johnson family home.

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

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 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.

(see the answer keys)

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