Essay On Analyzing Literature

957 words - 4 pages

How does your past affect your future? Should having a hard life give you an excuse to treat others with less dignity or respect? "Everyday Use", written by Alice Walker, is an emotive story that tells of a mother with two daughters, who had lived a very arduous life. Her older daughter, Dee, resented her upbringing and couldn't wait to get away and live a more refined lifestyle. The younger daughter, Maggie, severely scarred in a house fire, was content to continue to live the way she had been raised...simple and plain. I chose three literary devices that I believe Alice Walker used to create her story. The devices are imagery, satire, and irony. Alice Walker chose these devices for specific reasons, which, I will explain to you in the following paragraphs.Imagery is the use of words to affect the reader's senses. An author uses these words to give you a picture of what is happening in the story. In my opinion, Walker used this device in many places. For example, as she described Mama, " In real life, I am a large, big-boned woman with rough man-working hands" ( Walker 57). Immediately I envisioned Mama as a huge woman that had worked hard all of her life. Ms. Walker also used this device of imagery when describing the house that Mama and Maggie live in." It is three rooms, just like the one that burned, except the roof is tin, they don't make shingle roofs anymore. There are no real windows, just some holes cut in the sides, like the portholes in a ship, but not round and not square, with rawhide holding the shutters up on the outside. This house is in a pasture too, like the other one" (Walker 58). Alice Walker's choice of words here, clearly make me see a ramshackle little cottage in the middle of a cow field.The second device that I have chosen to talk about is satire. Satire is the use of criticism or wit to point out the faults of people, places, or things. The author also uses this device to show what life was really like for Mama and Maggie. For example, " Some times Maggie reads to me. She stumbles along good-naturedly but can't see well. She knows that she is not bright. Like good looks and money, quickness passed her by" (Walker 58). Another example is where Walker describes Maggie, "Have you ever seen a lame animal, perhaps a dog run over by some careless person rich enough to ow...


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