Johnson refuses to give the quilts to Wangero, one wonders if it was because she hated her daughter over the rejection of the family heritage, because she had found success, or if her daughter was an unlikeable character from the start. Was there a jealousy that her older daughter had found success and confidence when she would never know any, was she jealous of the confidence her daughter displayed by saying she did not have to live under the old ways anymore, or was she favoring Maggie over Wangero, since Maggie was flawed like herself? No matter whether one sides with Mrs. Johnson and Maggie on the value of the quilts, or with Wangero, the obvious schism is clear. Where one party values them because of the family connection, the other rejects that connection because it was born out of oppression and
That is the way Maggie walks” (316 Walker). Maggie is unattractive and reminds you of someone with low self-esteem. Maggie is intimidated by her sister. She is not able to confront her sister on why she wants the quilts. As a result, she gives in to her sister’s request and tells her mom, “She can have them” (321 Walker).
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.
Ms. Johnson didn't have an education, yet she knew the value of the quilts and she didn’t let a few words from Dee change her decision of giving the quilts to Maggie. Dee leaves her mother’s house quite upset and tells her sister, “You ought to try to make something of yourself, too, Maggie. It’s really a new day for us. But from the way you and Mama still live you’d never know it” (Walker 12).
The child’s inability to make a decision can be one of the most annoying things for any parent to endure. One moment the child refuses to take an offered item, but the next moment they are begging for it. Dee is the epitome of a fence-sitter. Readers see examples of Dee doing this twice: “She pins on my dress a large orchid, even though she had told me once that she thinks orchids are tacky flowers” (Walker). And again: “… I had offered Dee (Wangero) a quilt when she went away to college.
Although there is a lot of symbolism throughout the short story. The actions and physical traits of both Dee and Maggie are very symbolic of their interpretations of their culture and heritage. For example, Maggie’s scars from the fire are evidence of her ruthless life journey, which makes her value her life, heritage, and culture even more. However, the most important symbol in the short story is the quilts, which mama promised to give to Maggie when she was married. They were “pieced by Grandma Dee and then Big Dee “(76), both people very close to Maggie and not to Dee.
“My Mother Pieced Quilts” Theme Analysis In “My Mother Pieced Quilts”, Teresa Paloma Acosta presents the idea that family can provide comfort and safety through times of hardship. To begin with, Acosta mentions that her mother’s quilts were used “As weapons / Against pounding january winds” (3-4). This quote is a very explicit demonstration of how the quilts kept protected them from seasonal weather conditions. It also exaggerates the quilt, calling it a weapon which one can infer means that the quilts were vital to their lives.
She uses the foil to explore how Irene and Clare experience womanhood differently and connects it to the expectations of women in the 1920s. She mainly uses motherhood and marriage to exhibit these differences in their lives based on off race. She uses motherhood to show how Clare hates being a mother because of her fear of her husband finding out she’s black through her daughter’s skin tone. Irene appreciates being a mother even though she sacrifices her own desires for it; she understands the huge responsibility that comes with being a mother and embraces it. Marriage is used to portray Clare’s fear of her husband, and it shows Irene’s insecurity in her marriage when she suspects Clare and Brian are having an affair, yet her faith in her husband when she blames herself.
In her poem, Acosta demonstrates the quilt as a symbol for a doorway for the memories of the mother and her children. As the narrator describes how her mother makes quilts, she explains, "how you shaped patterns then cemented them/ with your
A person's view on culture heavily influence how one sees and views the world around them. People are influenced by the cultures surrounding them as well as where they live. In the personal essay Two Ways to Belong in America ,written by Bharati Mukherjee, Bharati and her sister Mira were both born in Calcutta, India , but later moved to the United States. Bharati loved America and said "I am an American citizen and she is not" speaking to how she had embraced and been influenced by her surroundings but her sister had not.
Mama, a “big boned woman with rough, man-working hands,” awaits her daughter’s (Dee) return in the literary piece Everyday Use (70). When returning home, Dee’s only mission was to ask for two specific quilts with hopes of hanging her heritage on display. Ordinarily Maggie, Dee’s sister, was once a bright, generous, young girl with abundant potential. Explicitly, one day, Maggie was damaged significantly in a fire in which transformed her entire life. The fire turned a once intelligent, social undeveloped girl into a terrified, hopeless juvenile, along with the failed assistance of her family.
In “Everyday Use,” by Alice Walker, the theme, the meaning of heritage and how it is remembered, is established through the symbolism of the quilts. The author uses symbolism to imply the true meaning of heritage and how it is remembered is shown through the creation of the quilts as shown in the text, “In both of them were scraps of dresses Grandma Dee had worn...pieces of grandpa Jarrell's Paisley shorts. and one teeny faded blue piece… that was from great grandpa Ezar’s uniform that he wore in the Civil War,” (Walker 139). The quilt that was made of the objects listed above that symbolized the different generation of family being stitched together through Grandma, Big Dee, and Mama’s hands a person from each generation stitching the family together. This shows the bonding of the
The short story “everyday use” by Alice walker is a story about a mother and her two daughters Dee and Maggie. The story capitalize on the upbringing of two siblings, and how they can be raised under the same conditions and rules but still manage to have different outcomes. Dee belittles her family and many ways, and she believes she is better than her past. She believes that she know and understand the true meaning of her past.
In the short story “Everyday Use,” Alice Walker shows the conflicts and struggles with people of the African-American culture in America. The author focuses on the members of the Johnson family, who are the main characters. In the family there are 2 daughters and a mother. The first daughter is named Maggie, who had been injured in a house fire has been living with her mom. Her older sister is Dee, who grew up with natural beauty wanted to have a better life than her mother and sister.