Characterization and Meaning
Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” explores a variety of issues including complexities of heritage, sibling rivalry, and personal insecurity. Through the course of the story, the plot is always secondary to the ways the characters are revealed to the reader. It is through this characterization that the reader is able to wrestle with the different ideas expressed by the author.
In a 3-page essay answer the following:
What do you think the story is saying about the idea of heritage? How is the direct and indirect characterization of the three main characters used to help show this theme?
- Introduction should introduce topic of the essay then the subject (“Everyday Use”) by using the summary steps.
- Thesis statement should come at the end of the introduction answering the questions in the prompt briefly but specifically.
- Body paragraphs should each focus on a single point (such as the direct characterization of Dee) that work to support your thesis. These points should be made clear through topic sentences.
- Specific quotes from the story should be used as evidence to support your points in each paragraph.
- Conclusion should show reader what the significance of your position is in relation to the topic.
Essays should follow MLA style and format (see Hacker or look it up online); typed, double-spaced, 12-point font, Times New Roman, stapled, with 1” margins all around. Your last name and page number should appear in the upper right hand corner of each page. One point will be docked for each of these requirements that is not met.
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