Compare and Contrast ‘Everyday Use’ by Alice Walker and ‘Heat’ by Joyce Carol.
‘Everyday Use’ by Alice Walker and ‘Heat’ by Joyce Carol Oates are two short stories. These two stories have one major concept in common and that is Power. ‘Everyday Use’ is about a mother who struggles to send her daughter to a good school. Mama gave Dee an opportunity Mama herself never had. Education proves to be more divisive than beneficial to Dee’s relationship with her family. When Mama was younger she was denied of an education she was forced in to her life of toil. Education has separated Dee from her family but it also separated Dee from a true sense of self. Dee’s voracious quest for knowledge has led to her alienation from her family, while the lack of education has harmed and stifled Maggie. ‘Heat’ is about twin sisters, Rhea and Rhonda Kunkel, the twin sisters were extremely close and powerful characters. In the beginning the narrator tells the readers that the twins “basked in their power”. The two girls were extremely close and were extremely powerful over their friends and specially Roger Whippie. Rhea and Rhoda have power over people just like Dee had power over her mother and sister. All three characters in the stories also got the power taken away from them. At the end of ‘Everyday Use’ Dee wanted to take a quilt that her grandmother made; but Mama was saving the quilt for Maggie. Dee begged for the quilt but her mother said no for the first time to Dee; so Dee leaves her family but she doesn’t leave them feeling powerless. For once Mama and Maggie feel like the ones with the power. In ‘Heat’ the twins where at Rogers house when he told them he has something “cool” upstairs in his room but he was only allowed one person at a time. After awhile Rhoda got anxious because Rhea was taking to long so she went to check on them. Roger opened the door when Rhoda stormed in and saw something in the corner; the twins never left that room alive. Roger had taken their power away. In conclusion, both short stories have powerful characters and they both get their power taken away from them. Rhea and Rhoda had power over friends while Dee had power over her family. The twins made people do things in the story they said “This is to show our power over you”. While Dee has the power of education she makes her family feel uneducated.