How does Walker's "Everyday Use" use setting to enhance its tone and mood?

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scarletpimpernel | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Walker's tone varies slightly in the story.  Overall, the story demonstrates a didactic (teaching) tone.  The author wants to teach her readers that heirlooms and tradition should be personal and meaningful, not decorations (as Dee sees the quilts). The story also possesses an empathetic tone and mood.  Readers cannot help but feel for Maggie who has had very little in her life or even for Dee who is struggling to establish who she is but who is confused by all the signals that society is sending her.

In regards to the setting, look at excerpts from the story where Walker describes the swept yard and Mama's house--the setting correlates best with the didactic tone because Walker uses it to show that even though people might not have material possessions, they can still take pride in those possessions and be tidy and clean.

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