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"American Literature Since the Civil War"

Please see the attached PDF document, "Week Fourteen: A Century Ends and a New Millennium Begins Part II" from the book "American Literature Since the Civil War".

(Located on Page 370) Question 1: In Walker's "Everyday Use" what does Dee (Wangero) mean when she implies that her mother and sister "don't understand" their "heritage"?

(Located on Page 378) Question 2: In this section, "Night March", what is significant about how this chapter is structured - is it completely linear? What purpose do Paul's day dreams serve? Why does Paul attempt to keep himself distant from the other men? What does Cacciato mean when he tells Paul, "You'll do fine... You got a terrific sense of humor"? How is humor important?

(Located on Page 386) Question 3: In Beattie's "Janus" what is Andrea's relationship with the bowl? How does it compare to her relationships to the men in her life? Though written in 1986, how does this story speak to our modern sense of materialism?

(Located on Page 391) Question 4: In Cisnero's "Woman Hollering Creek" how is the title significant? What is the significance of Cleofilas remembering her father and childhood at the beginning of the story? How do Cleofilas and Felice differ?


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1. In Everyday Use, Walker's intentions include causing the audience to realize that African-American heritage is not only convoluted, but essentially lost. That alone should probably tell you why Dee is a mainstay character. She both feels a desire to reconnect with her African heritage, and yet seems almost ridiculous in doing so, because there is really no sure way to tell that she's being accurate. In other words, what she implies is that the others don't care about their African past; what she ends up revealing through her actions to keep in step with her own admonition is that the African past is essentially so lost to them that it is now a myth.

2. If Walker's intent is to reveal the truth of African-American identity, Tim O'Brien has the intention of revealing the truth behind a soldier's identity. This is why so many of his works are set ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses American literature since the civil war.