How Do the Characters Connect to the People and Objects Around Them? Essay Example

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Part I

Walker’s “Everyday Use” not only demonstrates a generation clash, but also how individuals are affected on different levels by their historical consciousness. “”Not understanding” one’s heritage can be the rejection of one’s historical background; to understand this importance is to understand that one’s individuality is not really a true individuality, but that we are all composites of a diverse set of historical circumstances. It is, in the case of Dee, the realization of something fundamental about herself, a moment of self-realization. The past is important to me in the sense that I understand the limits of the ideology of pure individuality separated from the past, although I would not reduce this to any type of family heirlooms, but  rather a greater historical sense of where one comes from.

Part II

O’Brien’s Going After Cacciato’s structure in the first chapter is perhaps reflective of how we ourselves recall events: sometimes we can pick out linear sequences, such as event X happened before event Y. But there is also a fragmentation to these recollections, which are reflected in how this text is arranged. Day dreams therefore serve the purpose of showing the non-linear nature of our experiences. At the same time, the tension of the Viet Nam war itself helps aggravate this fragmentation, hence, trying to keep a distance here from others symbolizes trying not to get caught up in a multiplicity of perspectives, which only radicalizes this fragmentation. Humor becomes important as Cacciato suggests, because it helps to relieve these feelings of tension.

Part III

Andrea’s relationship with the bowl is one of an absurd personification, in which the bowl becomes something like a reflection of her own relations to human beings. The bowl is, on the one hand, empty, symbolic of the ultimate emptiness of her relationships, yet the bowl also can be filled, showing the temporary fullness in some of these relationships. Materialism is reflected in this story to the extent that material objects can function as mirrors of human relationships: materialism occurs when we value these objects more than these relationships ourselves, choosing the substitute instead of the reality.

Part IV

Cisnero’s “Woman Hollering Creek”’s title, I would argue, is significant for its critique of patriarchal society. Cleofilas’ recollection of her childhood is painted with these tinges of patriarchy and how this reflects her identity as a woman. Cleofilas differs from Felice arguably in the fact that she more clearly sees the effect of gender roles in a male-dominated society.

 

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