After having read the Alice Walker story “Everyday Use,” please address the following discussion question and take part as directed.
The process of characterization–which will be the topic of our second major essay later on–is a process every author who has ever written uses to create his or her characters–even when the “character” is a robot, rabbit, straw or tin man, literally every character used in any writing. Authors have only four options to create a character:
1. have the character say something
2. have the character do something
3. have someone else reveal something about the character
or, more rarely,
4. step in as the author-narrator and tell about the character himself or herself
Alice Walker does nothing less than an absolutely amazing job of characterizing Dee for us–even though some of us will take her differently from others–and she does this through the things Dee does, days, and some few things her sister and mother tell us about Dee. Alice Walker does not ever step into this story and interrupt the narrator’s, Ms. Johnson’s monologue and narrative about Dee’s visit on this one occasion. For this discussion, point out one very important thing Dee does, Dee says, or Maggie or her mother says about Dee, something that really reveals something important about Dee. This will not be difficult as you very likely already know. Please follow the directions about participation and the quality and substance of your posts. More is better, and you will, therefore, receive somewhere between 1 and 100 points for your effort on this discussion.
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