After reading “Everyday Use” answer the following questions. Use complete sentences and specific evidence from the text to support your claims. Make sure you also indicate the author and page number (if applicable) when you are pulling evidence from the story.
1. Describe Dee/Wangero. How does her mother see her, and how is she different from her sister, Maggie? What reason does she give for changing her name, and what does her difference on that issue with her mother tell us about her?
2. What can we assume about Wangero’s friend “Hakim a-Barber” based on his name and his feelings about pork? What assumptions might we further make based on Wangero’s enjoyment of the pork and collards, and what might this tell us about the new lifestyle she seems to be espousing? What do you make of Mrs. Johnson’s assertion that Hakim looks at her “like somebody inspecting a Model A car”? What part might he have played in Wangero’s new clothes and ideas?
3. Before Wangero’s arrival, Mrs. Johnson says that on her imagined television show, “I am the way my daughter would want me to be” (Walker). What is the significance of these differences from the way Mrs. Johnson really is? What does this tell us about her thoughts about what her daughter would want her to be?
4. What is Dee’s plan for the objects, including the quilts, which she wants to bring back to college with her? Why does she want them now when she didn’t before she went? What might have prompted this change for her?
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