Everyday Use Test | Final 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 stands under a gum tree and observes from a safe distance while tragedy strikes the old Johnson house a decade earlier?

2. Which character in "Everyday Use" delights in the chitlins and corn bread, greens and sweet potatoes Ms. Johnson serves for dinner during Dee's visit?

3. What sounds does Ms. Johnson hear when Wangero asks if she can have the quilts?

4. What facial expression does Maggie have after her sister leaves?

5. Who claims to be able to remember Grandma Dee without the quilts?

Short Essay Questions

1. Explain the difference in what Dee wants to use her mother's quilts and the way Maggie wants to use the quilts.

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

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

4. Are the Johnsons in "Everyday Use" typical or atypical for rural southern Black families living in the era in which the story is set?

5. What religion is Ms. Johnson in "Everyday Use" and what does her religion indicate about her character?

6. Why are the hairstyles of Hakim-a-barber and Dee/Wangero described in such detail in the story while Maggie and Ms. Johnson's hairstyles are not described?

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

8. Why does Ms. Johnson's clean her yard prior to Dee's visit at the beginning of Alice Walker's "Everyday Use?"

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

"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 2

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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