In this assignment I’m going to write about the different personalities of Mama, Maggie and Dee. Dee is Mama’s older daughter who had renamed herself as (Wangero Leewanika Kimanjo)¬.we learn that Dee is jealous, and concern among her family Mama and Maggie, she misjudge them, too. She is also not interested in winning them. During the story Dee is arrogant with her
Dee goes through a situation with her Mama that taught her she cannot have everything she wants, she’s confused about her inheritance. At the beginning of the story Dee demands to be called a different name rejecting her family valuing the quilts, but as the narrator describes, “I didn’t want to bring up how I offered Dee (Wangero) a quilt when she went away to college she told me they were old fashioned, out of the style” (Walker 432). The narrator is the Mama telling about the event that happened between her and her daughters. While telling it she learned that she always neglected Maggie for De, and it brought a sense of realization to herself. At the beginning Mamas tone is self-confident and proud; however, at the end of the story it changes to defensive and sarcastic.
Maggie and her mother share a sisterhood that Dee will never understand. Through the characters of Mama, Maggie, and Dee, Walker displays the theme of oppression in the short story “Everyday Use.” Through the character of Mama, Walker communicates oppression due to a lack of femininity, education, and an inability to say “no” to Dee. Mama is a burley woman who, unlike Dee, enjoys the lesser things that life has to offer. She excels in the face of hard labor but lacks the skill to pull off a feminine version of herself. Dee longs for her mother to fit in with the women of the decade: “…one hundred pounds lighter, skin like an uncooked barley pancake, glistening hair, and witty (Walker 1).” Dee doesn’t understand why Mama doesn’t want to embrace a softer side of herself; however, Mama is content with her lifestyle.
She than compare Dee and Maggie, who is lighter than Maggie, with nicer hair and fuller figure. After their house brunt down, we find out Maggie was the most effected with it cause her to stay home. While her older sister Dee went off to get a better life and education with the help of their mother and their church raising money for her to go to Augusta for school. Dee comes back home and is undoubtedly seem she has changed. She comes with a new attitude and news she has changed her name form Dee to Wangero.
Since Dee became angered and defensive, this cause her need for attention to increase. She went off to college to impress her mother who only had a first-grade education. Dee wore beautiful clothes to impress her sister and to embrace her African heritage. She wants her sister to look up to her, and that is why she gave advice to her at the end of the story, so that she could be a role model for Maggie. Dee show that she wants her mother to proud of her because she is trying to fight the oppression her mother was just used to.
For example, when Dee says something offending the reader feels offended too, because it is as if Dee is speaking to the reader. Also, by making the story told by Mama it gives an entirely different meaning then it would if it had been told from Dee’s perspective. Dee would be telling the reader that they should hang up, or put on display all their heirlooms, and never touch them. Finally, she would tach the reader that heritage is less about the people, and more about the illusion of heritage the items create. So having Mama tell the story with her own thoughts make the message more sincere and
Even though Maggie could not see or speak well, she would still try and attempt to read to Mama. Mama really appreciates Maggie’s humbleness because she does not care about good looks or money. That is not how Dee views things though. Dee is different. Dee wants a luxurious lifestyle that is different from how she grew up.
They differ in appearance, personality. Alice carefully portrait the draw of the three characters ‘Dee, Mama and Maggie’. Mama, the narrator of the story, is a strong, loving mother who always think of her daughters, Dee and Maggie. Mama has lake of education. Mama dreamed about her and Dee on a television talk show and about Dee expressing gratitude to Mama for all Mama has done for her.
Her mother knows that Dee’s intentions are not genuine. Worrying more about taking pictures of her mother and collecting items that represent the African culture to take back home, Dee neglects to spend time with her family. Her mother notices that Dee, “Lines up picture after picture of me sitting there in front of the house with Maggie cowering behind me. She never takes a shot without making sure the house is included” (par. 22).
In the short story, “Everyday Use,” Alice Walker uses her contrasting characters of Maggie and Dee to show a cultural split. Dee, the eldest daughter, comes home to visit her family who lives a very traditional way of life. Dee has gone to college and lives a more modernist lifestyle, whereas her sister Maggie has not gone to school and lives a more traditionalist lifestyle. This difference between the sisters shows the division in the 1960s between a traditionalist and modernist lifestyle through the characters Maggie and Dee. During the 1960s some African-Americans began to replace their birth names with names of African or Muslim descent, but what was the reason behind this change?