In the short story “Everyday Use,” Alice Walker shows the conflicts and struggles with people of the African-American culture in America. The author focuses on the members of the Johnson family, who are the main characters. In the family there are 2 daughters and a mother. The first daughter is named Maggie, who had been injured in a house fire has been living with her mom. Her older sister is Dee, who grew up with natural beauty wanted to have a better life than her mother and sister.
Dee is a girl who lived with her mom and her sister Maggie, but she wasn’t like them at all, she was different than her sister and her mother. Mama was collecting money to take Dee to school in Augusta. Dee liked to be fashionable, she always wanted nice things.
Dee and Maggie’s behavior did not change throughout the story, but Mama’s attitude proves to be drastically transformed by the end. As Dee is introduced towards the beginning, the author implies that Maggie thinks “her sister has held life always in the palm of one hand, that ‘no’ is a word the world never learned to say to her”. However, while Dee and Mama argue over the quilts, Mama claims, “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”. This action from Mama distinctly epitomizes her denial towards Dee. Mama’s rejection perfectly exemplifies her change, because in retrospect, Dee is portrayed as a girl who never had to think twice about
Ms. Johnson didn't have an education, yet she knew the value of the quilts and she didn’t let a few words from Dee change her decision of giving the quilts to Maggie. Dee leaves her mother’s house quite upset and tells her sister, “You ought to try to make something of yourself, too, Maggie. It’s really a new day for us. But from the way you and Mama still live you’d never know it” (Walker 12).
“Everyday Use” is one of the most popular stories by Alice Walker. The issue that this story raises is very pertinent from ‘womanist’ perspective. The term, in its broader sense, designates a culture specific form of woman-referred policy and theory. ‘womanism’ may be defined as a strand within ‘black feminism’. As against womansim, feminist movement of the day was predominately white-centric. A womanist is one who expresses a certain amount of respect for woman and their talent and abilities beyond the boundaries of race and class. “Everyday Use” can be seen as a literary representation of this concept. “Everyday Use” is a story of a mother and her two daughters- Dee and Maggie.
She says she will no longer be called Dee, she will be called “Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo”, because she “couldn't bear it any longer, being named after the people who oppress me" (348). Mama does not agree with the change, but she says she will respect her wishes. Dee then starts wanting different objects from around the house that she thinks carry the family’s heritage (349,350). When she starts to take quilts out of a chest Mama stops her saying that the quilts are for Maggie. Finally, Dee says that Mama doesn’t understand or care about her heritage, then leaves, and Mama and Maggie watch as she leaves
Dee is asking for the quilts to pay “homage” to her heritage. But she is also stripping this heritage from her sister by taking the quilts. Maggie is the sister who never derived from her home and true culture where the quilt was fabricated. Instead of
While Dee arrives with a higher education, she lacks the cultural experience that her mother and sister and acquired throughout their lives. This causes Mama’s admiration for her and disapproval of Maggie to essentially flip as Dee has now caused an obstruction in the relationship with her
The family conflict ties up with the heritage because Dee thinks very little about the valued things in her family, but Maggie and Mama thinks highly of them and they want to put them to great
The author also reveals Maggie through her mother's eyes and how she already was going to give Maggie the quilts. While the mom was talking to Dee she fortifies that ,"I promised to give them quilts to Maggie"(Walker 64). This depicts how the mother grasps the fact that Maggie is particularly familiar with the family's heritage and culture that surrounds the meaning of the quilt. The mother believes Maggie recognizes the quilt's importance to the family by it symbolizing the family's heritage and the pride and memories it
This is weird to the readers because dee is very passionate bout her heritage. The quote “we sat down to eat and right away he said he didn’t eat collards ad pork was unclean. Wagnero, though, went on through the chitlins and com breaf, the greens and everything else” (Walker). This can be confusing to the readers because some may thing hakim-a-barber is more passionate about his heritage and others may think that dee is. This connects to the theme of what is the real meaning of
The first house is like the origin of the beginning of the family. It holds their story In brief, “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker contains literary elements that draws back to a heritage. Walker wrote this short story to explain how each character saw their heritage. Some are proud, awed, but others are ashamed of their
Dee is also really selfish which makes her have tension between her family since she only cares about herself. Throughout the story, there were a lot of conflicts between Dee and her family which shows with the quilt incident, butter churn controversy and lastly different views on heritage. One of the main conflicts in Everyday Use is the quilt incident. The conflict started when Wangero (Dee) came out with two quilts that had been pieced by Grandma Dee and big Dee.
Throughout the story Mama describes both of the girls and how she feels about their differences, even though they are sisters and grew up in the same house. Maggie and Dee are different in their
In the short story” Everyday Use” by Alice Walker who tells a story about black women who have two daughters Maggie and Dee. She has to have the decision to give the quilts of one of her two daughters. Dee her oldest daughter who has been away at college and comes to visit her family and she wants the quilts as popular fashion and show them as part of their heritage. Maggie, her youngest daughter, who lives with her mother at home and understands the family tradition and heritage.her mother has been promised to give the quilts for her. The quilts mean for Maggie communication with family and culture.So there are two different meaning of heritage because The two sister has a very different attitude toward their heritage. However, the truer one is Maggie’s concept of heritage because it means for her more than a shown popular fashion “things“ it means to love and connection to memories and people.