Some members of the family do not understand the meaning of family heritage and get lost in having "newer and nicer things," rather than having heirlooms passed down to them from earlier generations. Maggie and Dee differ from the reasons that they want the quilts. The only similarity they share is the desire to own the quilts. Maggie has always thought that Mama would hand the quilts down to her when it comes times; Dee decides that the quilts will only be taken care of if they are in her possession. Being the humble and quiet person she is, Maggie tells Mama to give the quilts to Dee.
Alice Walker uses symbolism, theme, and metaphors in her story “Everyday Use.” The first pieces of symbolism in the story
When Dee (Wangero) began taking things that belonged to her mother in order to decorate her new house, the mood changed quickly from bewilderment to acrimony when Dee finally went too far. The sole purpose for Dee’s visit was to procure specific items belonging to her mother. Mom was initially perplexed as to why Dee would want the churn top and dasher and quickly incensed over Dee’s insistence that she was the only one capable of properly caring for the quilts. Wangero is astounded that her mother is going to give Maggie the blankets to be used for everyday use, believes that the quilts need to be preserved, and tells her mother that she doesn’t understand her own culture.
Foreman also focuses on the hidden and revealed meanings and topics in the slave narrative comparing it to another writing “Our Nig”. Thus, the author casts light on the literary tradition and genres of Afro-American women either living through the issues of slavery and related problems or witnessing those problems finding expression in their literary works. Foreman shows the parallel between Wilson and Jacobs, as well as other female authors of that period of time using different themes in their works and mostly showing the weakness and despair of women. Jacobs shows the inner strength and power of women who continue struggling with problems and challenges in their life hoping for the better and happier future, and this makes her different from other Afro-American women in the literary field. Foreman identifies the common aspects of slave narratives written by different authors, as that genre usually “combine elements of history, autobiography and fiction” (Foreman 314).
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 story Everyday Use, there is conflict between the two main characters Maggie and Dee. The two sisters are arguing over their Grandma 's quilt. Maggie feels that she deserves the quilt because she will cherish it and make great use out of it, unlike her sister who only wants to frame it in order to remember her heritage. Dee is not used to being told "no" and she has always got everything she has ever asked for, which is why she puts up a fight for the quilt. Dee then goes on to explain to her family on page 172, how she is changing her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo.
She is even loving and respectful to them even if they are mean and rude to her. “Miss Garth, you have your work assigned to you,” said Mrs. Thorley. She was not angry. Her voice merely had its usual determination. She asked, “Have you finished sewing the buttons on those shirts for Captain Rand?”
Everyday people are forced into situations without a choice. Whether these positions are small or life changing, individuals are given the option to find good or bad. In the novel Tending to Grace, Kimberly Newton Fusco writes about a young girl's journey into accepting the world around her in a seemingly horrible point in her life. The feeling of unimportance Cornelia is given after her mother leaves her allows her an unexpected sense of love, self confidence and voice showing good can always stem from the evil in life if one allows it. Through the bad Fusco shows that acceptance of oneself and the world around them can prevail.
When Dee hears that the quilts were promised to Maggie, she says, “they 'll be in rags” and that “‘She can always make some more” (61). If Dee really was completely independent of her culture, she could learn how to make her own quilts or would have taken the other ones that were offered. All of this goes to show that Dee still wants to connect with her culture and that she is not completely independent of her
One way she relates to the book is as a mother. In the book, Sethe tries to do anything she can to protect her children, and she tries to be a good role model towards them. Toni Morrison relates to this, because as a mother, she would do anything to save her two children, Harold and Slade. Another way Morrison relates is an African American woman. Morrison writes about the issues of post-Civil War and the issues Sethe and her family faces in the cruel times of slavery.
Have you ever not seen eye to eye with your mother? In Alice Walker’s short story “Everyday Use”, we are shown how many of the choices we make and the things we value create our identity. This story focuses on two characters, mama and her daughter Dee (Wangero), who struggle to see the same way about their heritage. Dee wants the things made by her grandmother, to not admire it as an artifact, but rather to remake it. She wants to take them, and change them to match her lifestyle as it is today.
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
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.
No doubt when Dee sees [the house] she will want to tear it down” (155). It is not surprising that she names familiar Maggie as the caretaker of the family’s heritage. You don 't have to call me by [the name Wangero] if you don 't want to," said Wangero. She believed mama was going to be surprised instead she replied "Why shouldn 't I?" I asked.
I won 't ever do it again”( Esquivel 12), is what Tita said when she got scolded. Mami was considered more polite than saying mama according to Mama Elena and if they didn 't, they would get slapped. However towards the middle of the book, Tita couldn 't cope with her anymore. Near the end, Tita announced her hatred for her mom by exclaiming,” I know who I am! A person who has a perfect right to live her life as she pleases.