Everyday Use Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 30 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Everyday Use.
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The main theme in the story concerns the characters' connections to their ancestral roots. Dee Johnson believes that she is affirming her African heritage by changing her name, her mannerisms, and her appearance, even though her family has lived in the United States for several generations. Maggie and Mrs. Johnson are confused and intimidated by her new image as "Wangero." Their own connections to their heritage rest on their memories of their mothers and grandmothers; they prefer to remember them for who they were as individuals, not as members of a particular race. Because of their differing viewpoints, each values the Johnson's possessions for different reasons. Dee digs around the house for objects she can display in her own home as examples of African-American folk art. Maggie and her mother value the same objects not for their artistic value, but because they remind them of their loved ones...

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This section contains 545 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Everyday Use Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Everyday Use from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.