What is the mood (and some quotes that show the mood) of "Everyday Use"?

Expert Answers
mstultz72 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Alice Walker's short story "Everyday Use," the reader is meant to confide in Mrs. Johnson's narration and her values.  The mood of the story makes the reader empathize with Mrs. Johnson and Maggie, not Dee.

The mood is rooted in Mrs. Johnson: her language, her work ethic, her family pride, her suffering, and her values.  She believes is self-sufficiency, doing man's work, the home, female community, and honor one's cultural roots.

Mrs. Johnson is straightforward, humble, and honest: we trust her plain narrative voice: “I never had an education myself” (page 91, 1st full paragraph)


“Maggie will be nervous until after her sister goes: she will stand hopelessly in corners, homely and ashamed of the burn scars down her arms and legs, eying her sister with a mixture of envy and awe” (p. 89, par. 2).