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

2. What word does Ms. Johnson say the world never tells Dee?

3. How does Dee greet her mother and sister?

4. Why do the Johnsons have dining benches instead of dining chairs?

5. To whom does Ms. Johnson always talk "With one foot raised in flight" and her head turned in whatever direction is farthest from them?

Short Essay Questions

1. What was Dee like at sixteen?

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

3. 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?

4. 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?

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

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

7. What does Hakim-a-barber's car indicate about his character and Dee's?

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

9. What kind of life has Ms. Johnson lived?

10. Who is the protagonist of "Everyday Use" and what identifies that character as the protagonist?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Discuss the references to church and religion in "Everyday Use." Give at least three examples of how religion is used in the text. What do you think Alice Walker is saying about the influence of religion on southern Black culture and on African American culture in general?

Essay Topic 2

Dee changes her name to Wangero in "Everyday Use." Discuss this name change citing examples from the text to support your arguments.

Part I: Discuss what Dee's name change indicates about her character.

Part II: Discuss what Dee's name change indicates about the era in which she lives.

Part III: Discuss what Dee's name change illustrates about her relationship with her family.

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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