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Our culture remains an inescapable thing that we are born into and can’t change. It brings people collectively or severs them. It is our first interactions with the world being molded by our childhood and heritage. One’s culture is the single most influential component in our society it shapes everything a person does, see, and hear. One of the first ways you come into contact with your culture is simply by the way you were raised. In “An Indian Father’s Plea”, the letter exposes to his son’s teacher how his classmates are treating him poorly due to him being culturally different.
His classmates act this way due to their own culture and beliefs. One of the girls in his class tell him ‘I like you, Wind Wolf because you are a good Indian”(Lake 112). The little girl has been led by her own culture based on what she’s observed or been taught regarding Indians, as she assumes they are all bad people.
The environment of which you grew up in also adds to how you view and treat others. Within that environment, your culture plays a tremendous role as it guides you to recognize what is right and what is wrong. In “Their Eyes Were Watching God”, Teacake got orders to bury the dead, but he was explicitly told to only bury the colored since the white folks were having coffins built for them. ‘Got orders from headquarters. They makin’ coffins fuh all de white folks”(Hurston 217).
In the environment of the time, the white were considered superior and got special treatment simply by the color of their skin. Some might say the way people behave has nothing to do with their culture or heritage and fault it at other factors such as the media. Since we are now living in a world where technology is a compulsion in our daily lives, we need not the newspaper anymore as we sit down and turn our televisions on. We are constantly being manipulated by the media with celebrities, movies, talk shows, and much more. A great extent of everything we do could be traced back to them as they are the originators.
But our culture is still much much superior. We were taught distinct skills and knowledge since we were young and as we age we keep that with us and develop them even greater. Inevitable we might be bombarded with the media, but we still aren’t swayed by it as much as our childhood experiences did. This is primarily displayed in ‘everyday use’ by Alice Walker. Mama and Maggie weren’t influenced by the media or other people that may have attempted to disrupt their way of life. People don’t abandon their comfort zone, being so, they don’t surrender their traditions and morals that were passed down to them. One’s culture lingers beside one’s self throughout their life. The concept of heritage and culture is presented by the quilts since the dispute is concerning the cultural meanings of the quilts. ‘I can ‘member grandma Dee without the quilts'(Walker 65). This shows that Maggie doesn’t need a physical display of her culture unlike Dee; she can retain the values and lessons she was taught. Our culture is something we should all be proud of as it is what makes us who we are and who were associated with. We shouldn’t be ashamed or embarrassed and try to adapt to a culture that you don’t belong with, therefore you should embrace the one you do belong in.
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