My Analysis of “Everyday Use (For Your Grandmama)”: The Analysis of the American Traditional Black Woman—Mama

Topics: African American, Black people, Race and Ethnicity Pages: 2 (686 words) Published: November 27, 2013


The story-- “Everyday Use (For Your Grandmama)” mainly talks about an Africa-American family’s daily life and the relationship among three main characters: the mother and her two daughters—Dee and Maggie. The author looks like to focus on the scramble for the two quilts between two daughters, but in the deep meaning of the story we can see the sisters’ attitudes on two quilts indicate the culture conflicts between the traditional African-American culture and the modern American culture. Mama, as the narrator of the story, is not only the observer but also the participant of the story. In real life she is a black, large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands. She can work outside all day, can eat pork liver cooked over the open fire only steaming a few minutes later and even can knock a bull calf straightly with a sledge hammer. She describes herself as a strong man. She says “I can kill and clean a hog as mercilessly as a man” (420).From the tone she uses, we can find she is very proud of her work ability as fierce as the man.She is the protector of the whole family, or we can say she has to become the protector. The father doesn’t appear in the story, and we can know the mother brings up her daughters all by her herself. She acts the roles of both father and mother. The author deliberately highlights the black women's great work capability and euphemistically attacks the male chauvinism, which expressing the thought of the equality between women and men. She is the typical traditional black American woman—big, fat, stout, hand-working, illiterate, and self-abasement. She remains the features of the African-American people before the Black Civil Rights movement in the United States. Deep-rooted racial and gender discriminations affect her point of view and characteristics. She doesn’t get enough education, which she drops off her education after the second grade in 1927.It is hard to imagine...
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