Characterize the speaker in Everyday Use and evaluate her reliability as a reporter and interpreter of events.Where does she refrain from making judgements? Where does she present less than half...

Characterize the speaker in Everyday Use and evaluate her reliability as a reporter and interpreter of events.

Where does she refrain from making judgements? Where does she present less than half the full truth?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Your question touches upon a very interesting question to do with point of view in the story. The mode of narration is first person, and because of this we must be aware that we might not be receiving an entirely reliable narrative - the "unreliable narrator" is a key aspect of first person narration, though perhaps here it is not so unreliable. However it is clear that the speaker is withholding information from both of her daughters. When Maggie asks her, "How do I look, Mama?", her mother dodges the question, and then goes on to tell us the readers how Maggie really looks. We are also left to infer how the speaker feels about her second daughter, the renamed Miss Wangero. However, it is clear from what she says and does that she disapproves of her and her actions.

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Everyday Use

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