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Intro: Introduce story and author and the critical article and author. Write about the two versions of Dee Susan Farrell discusses. Do NOT say “In this paper I will” or “I will explore” or “I will demonstrate.” Do not use personal pronouns until your conclusion and do not announce what you are going to do. Just make statements like There is more to Dee than meets the eye.
How is the reader supposed to interpret Mama’s dream of a reunion with Dee on a TV show? According to Farrell, “…we have to question whether Mama’s vision of her light-skinned, witty self is actually Dee’s wish or only Mama’s perception of what she imagines Dee would like her to be” (181). At the end of the story when Dee tells Mama and Maggie that it is a new day, she isn’t wishing Mama were lighter, more slender or more witty. Dee is talking about a more profound change.
Important advice: write about literature in the present tense. After Dee arrive, say Mama “tries” her name, not “tried.” Dee “tells” Mama and Maggie, not Dee “told.”
Also, avoid using any personal pronouns like I, we, my, you. Substitute “the reader” for “we.”
You may use “I” in your conclusion when you state whether or not you agree with Farrell that Dee is not so bad.
Farrell, Susan. “Fight vs. Flight: A Re-evaluation of Dee in Alice Walker’s ‘Everyday Use.’”
Studies in Short Fiction, Spring 1998, pp. 179-186.
Walker, Alice. “Everyday Use.” In Love & Trouble, Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1973, LitFinder.