In the story “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, a change in her daughter, Dee, causes Mama to grow a new appreciation for her often overshadowed daughter, Maggie. While Dee has returned to her home more educated, she has become ignorant to who she really is, causing a change in the attitudes of the characters towards each other. The new background that Dee has created for herself presents a sense of irony as her rise in education has resulted in her loss of knowledge about the world that she grew up in. After Mama refuses to allow Dee to take her grandmother’s old quilts because she promised them to Maggie, Dee claims that “Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts... She’d probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use” (926). From the …show more content…
Maggie is described to have been “eyeing her sister with a mixture of envy and awe” throughout her life as she “thinks her sister has held life always in the palm of her hand…” showing how from Maggie’s perspective, Dee is the favorited sister and desires to attract the same attention (921). From the three women, Maggie feels viewed as the lowest and therefore views the world from the lowest perspective, lacking the confidence and beauty to face the world with the same poise as her sister. Mama then expresses how she, herself, would not look at “a strange white man in the eye...” unlike Dee, who would “look anyone in the eye” (922). This attribute further reflects more of Dee’s self-assurance as this action would be rather unheard of at this time when racism and segregation was highly present and acted upon. Moreover, the differing views from mother and daughter present themselves here once again as Maggie faces the surrounding world with no fear while Mama faces it with her “head turned in whichever way is farthest” (922). Yet again does Walker convey this when Mama notes that after their arrival, “every once in a while [Hakim-a-barber] and [Dee] sent eye signals over my head” (924). By looking “over” her, it is apparent that Dee now sees herself above her mother. By …show more content…
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
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Dee’s transformation is more external than it is internal. She shows her transformation in the way she speaks, the clothes she wears, and her judgement. Mama’s transformation is more internal. She begins to see Dee’s real thoughts, and she stands up against her. When she takes the quilts away from Dee, she doesn’t only stand up for herself, but Maggie, as
In her short story “Everyday Use,” Alice Walker describes the ways in which one can appreciate their heritage and how one method is greater than the other. She supports this idea through the use of 2 differing daughters, each demonstrating each type of appreciation as a means to argue her point. Her purpose is to convey that those who appreciate through use over appreciating though a glance appreciate their heritage more than those who view their past as a monument or memory of the past. As the story goes on, readers start to understand the differences between Wangero (originally named Dee compared to her younger sister Maggie.
The speaker is uneducated, so the writing in the first person is readable for beginners as well as educated adults. Walker addresses the audience specifically to to create deeper imagery, where the audience can add their own experiences to the story, such as “You’ve no doubt seen those TV shows” (46). The speaker directly addresses the audience, and so anyone reading the story, whether a minority, or the majority, will be connected to the story. Purpose: Walker describes the impact of oppression on the relationship between mother and daughter, and how the oppressed view themselves.
Everyone has their opinions on a subject. In the short fictional story,”Everyday Use,” by Alice Walker, we see how different personalities equal these different thoughts. We see this in Maggie and Dee who have different opinions on their African American heritage. Dee and Maggie both grew up in a poor household. They have different views as they grew.
This new outlook on her life caused Dee to place different values on the items with which she had grown up. She wanted to take the items as things to put on display like art hanging on a wall. Dee even wanted the cherished quilts to “hang them” (Walker, 1973) instead of using them as blankets. As she saw it, to use the quilts for their original purpose would destroy them, or as she said, “Maggie would put them on the bed and in five years they 'd be in rags” (Walker, 1973).
In the short story, “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, their are two distinct characters who are very different from each other. These characters have many different motivations, personalities, and points of views with respect to preserving their heritage. The narrator, Mama, looks at them both with different views. Dee and Maggie are two completely different people. Dee has different motivations than Maggie.
Mama wanted nothing but the best for her; she did everything in her power to get her to college because she wanted her to have a better life than she did. However, Dee used her education against Mama and Maggie in efforts to present her culture in a “better” way. Changing her name to Wangero because her birth name “Dee”, as she informed them “I couldn’t bear it any longer, being named after the people oppress me” (Walker 27). In contrast, Mama and Maggie never changed the way they dressed “African descent” or change their names to portray their true
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
The point of view in the story “Everyday Use,” by Alice Walker plays a big part. Throughout the story, one of Mama’s daughters came to visit. The way Mama and Maggie see her is not in a very pleasant way. In fact, they are scared to tell her no when it comes to anything. From Mama’s perspective Dee seems like this rude, stuck up, spoiled child because she had the opportunity to go out and expand her education, while Mama and Maggie continued to live their lives on the farm.
In attempts to reconnect with her African roots, Dee has changed her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo. Dee has also taken an interest in embracing her African heritage and has dressed in traditional African clothes to visit her mother. Her mother knows that Dee’s intentions are not genuine. Worrying more about taking pictures of her mother and collecting items that represent the African culture to take back home, Dee neglects to spend time with her family. Her mother notices that Dee, “Lines up picture after picture of me sitting there in front of the house with Maggie cowering behind me.
She is a strong, loving mother who is sometimes is threatened by her own two daughters. “In real life I am a large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands”, in her we can see that she describes he self as a father too although she lost her husband. Mama is brutal and honest in her assessment towards her daughters. She describes Maggie as shy “She has been like this, chin on chest, eyes on ground, feet in” this happened ever since the other house burned to the ground. And Dee as she cause an even more point in rating.”
The short story, Everyday Use, is written by Alice Walker. This short story tells about the narrator, mama, and her daughter Maggie wait for a visit from Dee, mama’s older daughter. Throughout this short story, the reader can see the distraught relationship between mama and Dee. The reader can see how Dee is different than mama and Maggie; she thinks that she knows way more about her heritage than mama and Maggie, when she really does not. In the short story, Everyday Use, Walker uses imagery, symbolism, and point of view to show that heritage can only be understood when one is true to their roots.
Alice Walker wrote what Mama said about Dee or Wangero, “Dee wanted nice things.” Mama describes Dee as a lavish person who is only interested in herself and her fulfilling’s. Dee had changed her name to show that she is not accepting that a “white person” named her ancestors in way, so it can be passed down. Walker describes Mama as someone who is satisfied with what they have. “I will wait for her in the yard that Maggie and I made so clean and wavy yesterday afternoon,” Walker demonstrates how Mama is pleased with nature where her life takes place in.