Everyday Use Analysis

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The title of Alice Walker’s story Everyday Use proves significant because it is used as a measurement to determine value and importance. Dee wants the churn and quilts to be pieces of decoration, while Maggie would put them to everyday use as they were intended. To Dee everyday use would devalue the churn and quilts while her mother and Maggie, see everyday use as adding value, not subtracting it. Dee’s view on things and the value of them is quite different than that of her mother and sister. Her arrival causes mixed emotions. Maggie and Mama are excited to see her but they also ready themselves to be judged. Dee's superficiality and materialistic manner conflicts with the appreciation and high value that her mother and sister place on their…show more content…
She discards the name that hold’s significant value to her family, that was passed down through the traceable generations one to which she holds some false connection to. Wangero is tied to the African heritage, in which she has only recently decided to stake claim, that is not closely related to her; while Dicie is rooted in her family for generations. It was valuable enough to her mother to deem it worthy enough for everyday use. Dee shows further apathy to value by telling her mother “that [she does not] have to call her that if [she does not] want to”(747). She does not show any real attachment to either…show more content…
These quilts are described as being made from swatches of clothes once worn or owned by at least a century’s worth of ancestors, making the worth of them in Mama and Maggies’ eyes exponential. Dee only wants them to be admired at face value not for the true use. Just as she cannot understand the legacy of her name, passed along through four generations, she does not understand the significance of the quilts. Dee only sees the value of the hand stitching and material used. Mama had promised the quilts to Maggie, and Maggie's reaction to the news that Dee wants them shows that Maggie has an emotional attachment to them as well. "Maggie can't appreciate these quilts!" Dee says. "She'd probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use." (paragraph 66). The fact that at defines the argument the author is trying to make.

Dee’s devaluation of her heritage serves as a source of conflict. When her name was Dee, she hated the objects around her for their lack of beauty and style. When she changed her name to Wangero, she saw these old items as a part of her heritage and works of art. At no time, however, did she ever have a real use for
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