Our oldest daughter is in her first few weeks of college. She wrote me an e-mail the other day asking me to look over an essay that she needed to turn in for a class. I thought her essay was great -- I gave her a few suggestions, but the subject of her essay really interested me. Her reading assignment was titled "Everyday Use" and the topic of her related essay was how the story shows the contrasting opinions on how we use objects to remember our heritage.
I was fascinated. I've never really tried to analyze why I'm sentimental, and why objects from the past seem valuable to me, even if they aren't. So the debate is.... should objects from your ancestors be used as decorations in your home (and somewhat preserved in the process) or should they be used as intended in your home (and possibly ruined in the process)??
My daughter said I could have permission to post her essay on my blog, and I will do that in a few days, but first, a homework assignment for you, my blog readers. The short story (only eight pages) can be found at the following link. I challenge you to read it and weigh in on the debate in the comment section below.
"Everyday Use" by Alice Walker (author of The Color Purple)