In a today’s culture where honesty and outstanding actions are taken for granted it is imperative to defend what is just. In Everyday Use written by Alice Walker we see the importance it is to hold out for one’s ideologies and views, particularly in ancestral affairs. Mama the prominent figures in Everyday Use must make the prominent judgement call of defending her diffident daughter maggie, or giving in to dee her other self-centered daughter who has neglected their family heritage. The short story A&P written by John Updike conveys the account of an A&P worker Sammy and how he makes up his mind to uphold what he believes is just.
Sammy although is not given the acknowledgement he saw appropriately fitting. The short stories above illustrate the importance of shielding people from the cruelty of the world because not every person is protected or cognizant enough to fend for themselves. Although one may not always be recognized for the gratitude they may deserve.
It may be a growth and learning experience. In the story A&P sammy a cashier thought he did a good deed but he got no accolades in return. Sammy said, “so I say, “I quit” to Lengel quick enough for them to hear, hoping they’ll stop and watch me, their unsuspected hero. They keep right on going” (John Updike). Sammy in saying I quit now must face the harshness and reality of being out of a job. He later says, “One advantage to this scene taking place in summer, I can follow this up with a clean exit” (Updike). Sammy in saying this knows he at least can start something with a clean slate being fired during the summer.
This was also a learning experience to for him because he learned that not everything always goes the way you planned add not every good deed gets the appreciation it deserves. maggie’s mother had to face the reality of who really knows about their culture and stand up for what’s right. Dee is going around taking items from their culture to put out to display to remember. when she picks up a quilt their grandma had made Mama said “The ttuth is,” I said, “I promised to give them quilts to Maggie, for when she matties” (Alice Walker). in saying this it infuriates dee because she wants to preserve her culture put it on shelf not live it out like maggie so Dee said, “Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts!” she said. “She’d probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use” (Walker). when Maggie heard this she says, “She can have them, Mama” (Walker). which shows how mature she is and later says “I can ‘member Grandma Dee without the quilts” (Walker).
This short intersection between dee and Maggie leads Mama grow awareness of the reality that Maggie really truly understands their roots and culture. Mama even said, “I did something I never had done before: hugged Maggie to me, then dragged her on into the room, snatched the quilts out of Miss Wangero’s hands, and dumped them into Maggie’s lap” (Walker). showing that dee can’t always have her way.The two stories are different because where mama gets the awe of maggie when she hugs her and stands up to dee and said, “I did something I never had done before: hugged Maggie to me, then dragged her on into the room, snatched the quilts out of Miss Wangero’s hands, and dumped them into Maggie’s lap” (Walker). While Sammy when he stands up to Lengel for treating the girls with such hostility for coming into the store dressed in beach attire said, “I quit” to Lengel quick enough for them to hear, hoping they’ll stop and watch me, their unsuspected hero” (Updike).
The girls however pay no attention to his heroic deed hurry out of the store. It says, “They keep right on going, into the electric eye; the door flies open and they flicker across the lot to their car” (Updike). This shows that while mama got the gratification of maggie and the all sammy got was himself fired.