The Impact of Heritage

The Impact of Heritage I believe the topic of heritage is always a difficult topic to approach in any discussion. Heritage means so many different things to so many different people. This idea of ones heritage transcends all barriers, and it is possible to spend a lifetime, literally, debating which individuals heritage everyone should be obliged to follow. For some, heritage serves as an omen for the future, a glimpse into what is to come as it is continually passed down through their offspring. Everyone agrees that heritage withstands the tests of time, important in present times as it was in the past. Alice Walker takes an in-depth look at the principle of heritage in the African-American community and why the belief is African-Americans value heritage more importantly than any other culture of people. The story revolves three central characters; all try to define their own definitions of heritage, with each holding on to their beliefs as though they were the only treasures worth saving in the world. It is inevitable that these beliefs will result in a conflict within the family unit. In order to better understand where the conflict in the stories lies, I believe an analysis of each character is required to better understand their motives and actions in the story. Walker structures the story so that it makes the reader believe that Dees perception of heritage is the most important because it is the most volatile. Dee feels that the heritage forced upon her by white slave and sharecropper owners through generations in her family will McQueen Page 2 never be her own and she refuses to lay claim to it. In fact, within the story she becomes the strongest advocate against it: what happened to Dee?Shes deadI couldnt bear it any longer being named after the people who oppress me (Diyanni Literature/ English Textbook Pg. 411) Dee is also very intent on tracing her heritage ba…

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