Character Analysis: Everyday Use By Alice Walker

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Different People Represent Different Things
In “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, two sisters named Maggie and Dee are characterized through the eyes of their mother. Nevertheless, Maggie and Dee are both sisters, they are incompatible with how they act. This shows they’re two disparate people. When Dee comes home to visit her mother and sister, a conflict emerges over two antique quilts that were handed down from Grandmother Dee. This conflict reveals how Maggie and Dee have very different ideas on how to preserve their heritage.
Maggie and Dee never really had a good relationship with each other. Maggie is the timid and anxious one. In the beginning, Maggie and her mother wait for Dee to come and visit. Whenever Dee is around, Maggie tends to feel intimidated by her. Maggie always eyes her sister with envy and awe.“Maggie will be nervous until after her sister goes” (Walker 315).
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She has changed her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo. Dee feels that her name came from slavery and wants to distance herself from that part of her past. Dee says, I couldn't bear it any longer being named after the people who oppress me” (318). This makes no sense because she was named after her aunt and her grandmother who did nothing to oppress her. Dee probably feels this way because she grew up impoverished and resented having to do without things. Momma observed that ¨Dee wanted nice things.¨ (316)
In this story, both sisters really wanted the antique quilts that Grandma Dee had made. However, they wanted it for different reasons. Dee only wanted the quilts to show off how nice it was. She is very careless of the quilts and thinks nothing of them. Maggie wanted the quilts for affectionate reasons. Mama realized that Maggie deserved the quilts more than Dee. The quilts were an important part of their heritage. They were very invaluable to the family. Maggie knew the true meaning of their heritage and Dee
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