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
This is situational irony because the reader expects Dee not to want anything from her home because of how much she despised her home and heritage, but she ends up wanting the butter churn and hand-made quilts. She even says that Maggie would not appreciate the quilts and would put them to “everyday use,” as if Dee adores them. It is also ironic that Dee brings Hakim-a-barber home with her. In the story, Mama refers to the time when Dee wrote her a letter saying that wherever Maggie and Mama chose to live, she would come visit them, but she would not bring her friends. “She wrote me once that no matter where we ‘choose’ to live, she will manage to come see us.
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).
Dee probably feels this way because she grew up impoverished and resented having to do without things. 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). This quote relates to education in many ways.
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. Another example is when Acosta mentions that the thread was “Galloping along the frayed edges, tucking them in / As you did us at night” (21-22).
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