First off, Maggie is quiet and shy. She is ashamed about how she looks.The story stated,”She will stand hopelessly in corners, homely and ashamed of the burn scars down her arms and legs …” Maggie doesn’t know how to be outspoken. She hides herself. When it comes to conflict she wants everyone to be happy. Giving Dee her grandma’s quilts stopped a conflict. She knew this would make Dee happy.
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
She is intimidated by Dee’s intelligence and would not debate with her, but then Momma says, “When I looked at her like that something hit me in the top of my head and ran down to the soles of my feet. Just like when I am in church and the spirit of God touches me and I get happy and shout. I did something I had never done before: hugged Maggie to me then dragged her on into the room, snatched the quilts out of Miss Wangero’s hands and dumped them into Maggies lap,”(p.76, par. 7) and in that instant you can feel that she has become a stronger person as a whole, just the same in Cathedral, when the Husband hears Robert is coming to visit and is blind he has no sympathy nor does he want Robert there. By the end of the book when they finish drawing with their eyes closed Robert says “I think that is it. I think you got it. Take a look. What do you think? but I had my eyes closed, I thought I would keep them that way for a little longer. I thought it was something I ought to do, well he said are you looking? My eyes were still closed. I was in my house, I knew that, but I didn't feel like I was inside anything. It is really something, I said,”(p. 89, par. 11) he kept his eyes closed seeing through new light, seeing as a blind man sees and grows spiritually as a
“the quilts are the central symbol of the story representing the connectedness of history and intergenerational tries of the family” (“everyday use”). This means that the quilts mean heritage and remind the daughters of grand mom dee. The quilts are fought over at the end of the story because of the meaning of them. One daughter wants them for everyday use and one wants them just to have them because it means heritage to her. The mother at the end of the story agrees that they should be used for everyday use. “Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts! She said. “she’d probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use.” (walker). This shows that dee really wants the quilts but not for the reason her mother wants. Mrs. Johnson ends up giving Maggie the quilts for the right
While Dee is asking for the quilts, her mom remembers a time when she offered Dee the quilts before leaving and she replied ," They were old-fashioned, out of style"(Walker 64). This allows the reader to acknowledge that Dee does not fully comprehend the true meaning of the quilts, viewing the quilt as if it was just another object in the world. Later in the story, Maggie becomes upset when Dee was about to take the quilts. The author illustrates Maggie putting snuff in her bottom lip giving ," her face a kind of dopey, hangdog look"(Walker 65). This exemplifies to the readers that through the mother's eyes, Maggie was so extremely upset that Dee was once again going to win by taking the quilts because Maggie truly understands the meaning of the quilts and deserves to not be defeated by Dee. 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
Maggie is also oppressed by society and Dee, and, though to a further degree than her mother, her view of herself attacks her equality compared to the rest of the world. The subject is immediately introduced. The story begins with Maggie and her mother waiting for Dee. They waste their time in order to be available to Dee as soon as Dee
When Maggie sees stuff she doesn’t like she hides it and doesn’t talk but when she knew that Dee wanted to take the quilt that mama promised to give her she dropped the plates and smashes the kitchen door very hard.
There are a few similarities between Dee and Maggie. For instance, they both grew up in the same house (until Dee went to Augusta for schooling). They both would have had the same parents. Maggie is going to be married to John Thomas (49) and Dee might be married to Hakim-a-barber (52);
In “Everyday Use,” two sister Dee and Maggie have different views on how they should preserve and honor their heritage. The story is told from the point of view of their mother, Ms. Johnson, and it is from her that we learn about the difference in the sister’s characters. Dee, who changes her name to Wangero, is outspoken and is the educated sister. Maggie is shy and appears to be ashamed of the burns on her skin. “[Maggie] thinks her sister has held life always in the palm of one hand, that ‘no’ is a word the world would never learn to say to her” (Walker 6). This is important because, in the end, Dee does not get her way. Dee is the educated
come to claim out from under her feet. The temper has flared, and Maggie gets her quilts.
The short story "Everyday Use", Alice Walker emphasizes the aspect of individuality. The story focuses on the lives of two sisters, Maggie and Dee. Growing up together under the same conditions clearly created two very distinct individuals with contrasting views regarding their past, present, and future. When Dee arrives home from college, she portrayed herself as higher class; she put herself above her family and her past. During her visit, she was looking for valuable things to have in her home. While looking around, Dee notices two handmade quilts containing pieces of clothe that date back to the Civil War. Unfortunately, Mama has promised them to Maggie. Dee becomes disappointed and says, “Maggie would be
Alice Walker’s short story “Everyday Use” involves a conflict between two sisters and their desire for a family quilt. Each sister has a reason for wanting the quilt but Maggie deserves it more. She needs it because she will use it unlike Dee who will hang it up for others to view. Dee was being conceded when she said, “Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts,” when really, she is the one who would never appreciate them. Maggie will use the quilts “for when she marries John Thomas” as Mama said. 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
The mom begins the story by talking about her daughters. She sees Dee as the prettier and the smarter daughter. The mom says that “No is a word the world never learned to her”. The mom says this because Dee is spoiled and always gets what she wants. . Mom knows that Dee has irregular ways and is not necessarily like her or Maggie, but she in some ways looks up to Dee and longs for Dee to accept her. (Nancy Tuten) agrees by saying, "Mama's distaste for Dee's egotism is tempered by her desire to be respected by her daughter.” The Mom’s character changes during the quilt scene, as she realizes that Maggie shares the appreciation of culture and heritage, and Dee's appreciation is entirely different from theirs. During the quilt scene, Dee is demanding Mom to give her the quilts, and Mom says, "when I looked at her like that something hit me in the top of my head and ran down to the soles of my feet.” In other words the daughter who she has always thought so highly of knew little of their culture and had little appreciation for their heritage. Walker creates the “mom” character to help defend her point, which is the importance of upholding the values and traditions in the African American
A relationship between a mother and a daughter is very difficult to maintain. In the story of "Everyday Use", Mama tells her story of her two different daughters. She explains the dissimilarity of Dee, the oldest daughter who is in college and Maggie, the daughter who remains at home. She tells the story of her two daughters while waiting for Dee 's arrival from college. She describes how different they are and in their storytelling, you can tell their differences. Dee has broken away from her family and has adopted a life on her own, even having a partner by the name of Hakeem-a-barber and changing her name from Dee to Wangero, even though she was named after her Aunt Dee. Dee forgot about her culture and wants the family quilt for the having it as part of the trend. Maggie
In the short story “Everyday Use” Alice Walker takes the reader through a world that was in the midst of a radical change. A time when new affluence was coming to a generation of African Americans. Walker’s generation knew nothing but hardships, and they had to make due with whatever they happened to have around. Therefore, many of the items which Dee and Maggie see in the course of the story have radically different meanings. Dee, having had the advantage of leaving home to go to college, had her life changed by the lifestyle she was introduced to in the city. When she came home again, her view of the items which Maggie and her mother considered as everyday use items had taken on a whole new meaning to her, she now saw them as artifacts instead of things which were useful. 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). This is a scenario that has played out many times over the course of human history. Things which have only a utilitarian value to the present generation, take on an aura of