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Character Analysis Of Maggie In Alice Walker's Everyday Use

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Maggie

In Alice Walker's Everyday Use, the use of a flamboyant and downright abrasive character as Dee helps to portray the serious effects of a lack of exposure to society in the quiet and passive demeanor of Maggie. Maggie's isolation from the riches of society in the world offers a stark contrast with her sister, Dee. Where Dee is ostentatious and loud, Maggie is almost silent and shies away from any flux of social activity. She's is repeatedly skittish and she cannot even bear to be hugged. “He [Hakim-a-barber] moves to hug Maggie but she falls back, right up against the back of my chair. I hear her trembling there and when I look up I see the perspiration falling off her chin." She is completely at loss at how to approach Dee and her companion. Dee, however, completely takes over the social situation. She instantly adjusts the spotlight to her with her clothes, hair, and attitude toward her family. "A dress down to the ground, in this hot weather. A
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When Dee practically demands the quilts promised to Maggie, Maggie automatically forfeits them without complaint. She never takes the time to battle her sister and she doesn't lose her composure. She, akin to a defenseless child, gives in to the pressure of Dee. "She can have them, [the quilts] Mama,” She is far more worried about keeping the peace and hiding from the commotion than defending what belongs to her. This professes Maggie to be a very complacent and scared girl, especially in the face of her sister Dee. She deliberately avoids her and her new sense of self-righteousness. Maggie's lack of exposure to society makes her weak in her sister's eyes and vulnerable to her sister's pretentious attitude toward what is owed to Maggie. Dee disturbs the peace by proclaiming, "Maggie can't appreciate these quilts!” It is clear that Dee believes that she deserves to receive whatever she wants, yet Maggie never fights for what she is already entitled
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