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Characterization In Everyday Use

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Characterization in “Everyday use”
In “Everyday Use” Alice Walker creates the characters of Mom, Maggie, and Dee in order to explore the appreciation and values of African American culture and what it stands for. The story grows around one daughter Dee coming back home to visit her family. As one is introduced to the characters in “Everyday Use”, it becomes noticeable that the two sisters, Maggie and Dee, are very different. Maggie is portrayed as a homely and ignorant girl, while Dee is portrayed as a beautiful and educated woman. The story goes beyond these traits to deal mainly with the way in which the two sisters value their heritage. Maggie knows nothing but her heritage, for she has never left home. On the other hand, Dee seems to have
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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
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