Alice Walker’s Everyday Use
This portion of the final exam is a short answer written response practicum.
You do not have to write multiple paragraphs.
These can be brief responses (but longer responses are encouraged).
But: Any sentences(s) or paragraphs(s) that you provide should be the best-quality writing that you are able to produce (ethically) …
Please do not use fragments or informal writing.
Preferred delivery method:
Please type in over this form that is proved (attached to this assignment).
Enter your name and type in answers where noted.
You can use another word processing program if you do not MS Word.
Questions? Contact instructor.
Prompt Question 1:
What does the story title “Everyday Use” mean to you? How is it applicable to your own life’s experiences, if at all?
This is your instructor’s favorite story to teach. His life experiences as a Caucasian male are far different and more comfortable (privileged) than those of all the characters in the story, including the beef-cattle peoples. But why does this story resonate with him? (Don’t answer about what you think about my thoughts, but…)
Is this story universal, or is limited to an ethnic and cultural setting?
What is the “thing” (quality/skill/talent/other) that Alice Walker “did” to make this story so beloved, in your opinion?
There are four principal characters:
Hakim-a-Barber (Wangero’s companion)
Which character do you like or admire the most, and why?
“Everyday Use” was published in 1973. It clearly is a product of the 1960s and ’70s civil rights and women’s rights movements, and a lot of other things.
It’s 2020 now. So:
What do you think happened to the 4 characters?
[Are they all still alive in your mind? In your own personal view, how do you think the lives were for Mama, Maggie, and Wangero (Dee), and Hakim-a-Barber in the 70s, 80s, 90s, and now 21st Century?]
How do you feel about Wangero (“Dee”)? As a person? What are qualities you may admire in her? Are you going to call her “Dee” (her given name) or “Wangero” (her chosen name)?
Describe in 30 words or less Wangero (“Dee”) without using any first-person pronouns (describe her without “I” or “Me” or “My” as in: “I think…” or “In my opinion…”.
Use an adjective in your response, and try to use active voice, present tense (Wangero “ is ” a person that … NOT Wangero “ was ” a person that …).
This is an aesthetic response (“personal taste”), so all (ethical) answers are an automatic “Pass” (essentially, an “A”).
Question “O” (optional):
Anything else you’d like to say about “Everyday Use” if you’d like and was not covered in the question above.