The estimated reading time for this post is 4 Minutes

In Alice Walker’s short story, “Everyday Use” the theme is recurrent. This is one tough lady with a strong faith line. This story is represented in multiple ways. As the reader you can tell the narrator/main character has been through a lot. She has done it all on her own without a partner. The narrator does not like to draw attention to herself. The biggest way would be the harmony and the struggle and conflicts of the African-American culture. In this character analysis, Mrs. Johnsen is a mom to two beautiful daughters. Mrs. Johnsen has faith that helps guide her life down the right path. Mrs. Johnson is very proud of her heritage. It is also very interesting how when talking she never likes it about herself but leads in talk about her daughters every time. You can tell from reading this short story that the narrator is more on the reserved side than the character flaw.

Her love indicates the passion she has for her daughters. Her daughter’s names are Dee and Maggie. She helps raise them despite their living situations. This family lives in poverty. She helps Dee get a college education. After evaluating her daughter she notices that Dee does not have the value of heritage that she wishes she would have. She also notices that Maggie has more value for heritage.

The narrator also talks about how she never got an education herself. When we look at the sentence before from there we can see just how much the narrator loves her daughters. She gave up her life to support her daughters and give them the life and education that she never had. This narrator puts everything into perspective about herself and her love and compassion for her daughters first. After reading this short story I could tell the difference this mother made in her daughter’s life. You could also see how both the daughters are very different. One truly understands the culture and heritage of her mother’s life. The other daughter wants to have a quilt but does not care about the value of the quilt at hand.

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After reading about the family understanding the situation of the narrator is super important for us as readers. We could understand where the narrator was coming from in an area such as the civil rights era. She has always worked for things she wanted in her life. Now as she helps her daughters get on the right track we can see the difference and change she has made in her career.

In the text it says, “Just like when I’m in church and the spirit of God touches me and I get happy and shout. (76)” . The narrator is thinking she can maybe help change Maggie’s world views. She and Maggie didn’t always get along so great until she noticed that Dee didn’t want to keep the quilt she would rather sell the quilt because that means so much to Mama. Maggie is the only one who is starting to understand the concept and how much that quilt means to her and the heritage of people it has gone through.

This short story has so many good points and the narrator and the main character are so great at expressing the value and importance of heritage. The value is super important in this short story. It has the old-time part of something super good. Mrs. Johnson is a great mom to her two daughters and she teaches them valuable lessons every step of the way. She is a great mentor for her family and is a wise woman of her time.  

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Essay on the Protagonist in ‘Everyday Use’.
(2024, April 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved April 21, 2024, from

“Essay on the Protagonist in ‘Everyday Use’.” Edubirdie, 18 Apr. 2024,

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Essay on the Protagonist in ‘Everyday Use’ [Internet]. Edubirdie.
2024 Apr 18 [cited 2024 Apr 21].
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