Family Values
Family Values

“Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, “The Lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara, and “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid are incredible stories which depict family relationships and appropriate values between the main characters. These authors demonstrate how the family affects the protagonists’ actions and attitude towards life through a particular representation of the most significant things. Thus, the main idea of the stories is to demonstrate the family values by making the reader focus on the importance of heritage, education, and the accomplishment of the household chores.

Heritage is the most substantial issue of the protagonists’ nature as it defines moral and spiritual values. In the story “Everyday Use”, Alice Walker portrays family relationships based on misunderstanding between a mother and her daughters. In fact, the mother is to blame for the reason that her elder daughter neither loves her family nor respects her mother. Being not a well-educated woman, the mother prefers adhesion to human values. She has two daughters, Maggie and Dee, who differ from each other in terms of their appreciation of the family heritage. Dee does not respect the family history, but the mother is still proud of her independence considering that her daughter is better than she is due to her education. However, the words “I didn’t want to bring up how I had offered Dee (Wangero) a quilt when she went away to college. Then she had told they were old-fashioned, out of style” prove that education does not matter at all. In this case, “quilt is a privileged symbol” of the family values. Thus, it is evident that mother did not teach one of her daughters that it is obligatory to appreciate the family past.

Education must be an integral part of everybody’s life as it helps one to understand the sense of life itself being able to learn the meaning of the family values too. In both stories “The Lesson” and “Girl”, the authors want the reader to realize the importance of education. Certainly, the process of study can be different, but it contributes to the development of a personality. For instance, the plot of the story “Girl” is rather short, but it shows how the mother teaches her daughter to adapt to life. A woman gives a large number of the so-called recipes and useful pieces of advice which every young girl can apply in the future. She teaches her daughter that the main thing is to complete all household chores as they reflect every woman’s ability to take care of the family. This is how you iron your father’s khaki pants; this is how you sweep the whole house; this is how you set a table for tea. It is obvious that all these details relate to the most essential family values which are the reason for a good life. As for the story “The Lesson”, from the very beginning of the plot Bambara reveals that the main characters are not well-educated children. The author illustrates that one of the protagonists named Miss Moore does not seem to be so vital, but this woman knows that education is power. The words “She’d been to college and said it was only right that she should take responsibility for the young ones' education” explain the inner motives of Miss Moore. It means that education leads to the life’s path making people transform themselves.

In conclusion, the stories “Everyday Use”, “Girl”, and “The Lesson” are literary masterpieces which explain the meaning of life through the family values. Heritage is a precise symbol of respect referred to the family history and all the events that are closely connected with the family. Education and household chores show help to bring children up as they contribute to substantial changes related to the perception of life. Undoubtedly, “Every family history mirrors the changes in society”.

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