In the story “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, a change in her daughter, Dee, causes Mama to grow a new appreciation for her often overshadowed daughter, Maggie. While Dee has returned to her home more educated, she has become ignorant to who she really is, causing a change in the attitudes of the characters towards each other. The new background that Dee has created for herself presents a sense of irony as her rise in education has resulted in her loss of knowledge about the world that she grew up in. After Mama refuses to allow Dee to take her grandmother’s old quilts because she promised them to Maggie, Dee claims that “Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts... She’d probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use” (926). From the
The Symbolism of Quilts in Everyday Use Alice Walker’s 1973 short story, Everyday Use, is about a rivalry between a mother and her daughter, and how they have a complicated relationship in regards to their heritage. The two characters named Mama who narrates the story and Dee who was the annoying, selfish one have a complex relationship. The issues both of them had was that Dee cares about her life and being smarter than caring about her family, and Mama became upset. Mama with the help of her sister, and mother has decided to create clothing called quilts. The quilts were handmade, used for bedding, and portrayed the artistry of the family.
She comes with a new attitude and news she has changed her name form Dee to Wangero. She changed her name because she thinks her family doesn’t value their heritage, so she changed it to keep it alive. She also comes back to ask her mother for quilts when it had already been promised to Maggie. Dee thought Maggie can’t appreciate the heritage behind it, but their mother hopped that Maggie would use it for everyday use, exactly what Dee didn’t want. In the end of the story Maggie and her mother sits outside on the yard watching Dee drive away.
The mother at the end of the story agrees that they should be used for everyday use. “Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts! She said. “she’d probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use.” (walker). This shows that dee really wants the quilts but not for the reason her mother wants.
Mama will not let her have it because she already promised to Maggie that she was going to give them to her. Dee arguing with Mama “Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts!” she said. “She’d probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use.” (Walker 6). Maggie will use them the best other than Dee. Maggie will use them as they are meant to be used for and Dee wants to put them on the wall.
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 short story, Everyday Use, is written by Alice Walker. This short story tells about the narrator, mama, and her daughter Maggie wait for a visit from Dee, mama’s older daughter. Throughout this short story, the reader can see the distraught relationship between mama and Dee. The reader can see how Dee is different than mama and Maggie; she thinks that she knows way more about her heritage than mama and Maggie, when she really does not. In the short story, Everyday Use, Walker uses imagery, symbolism, and point of view to show that heritage can only be understood when one is true to their roots.
Christine Kerr states “The mother narrator reminisces how Dee always “wanted nice things” even as a tennager.” Throughout Everyday Use, Dee shows a pattern of wanting things, such as her heritage to be shown. This is why Dee changes her last name. Christine Kerr demonstrates how Dee has more than one perspective on things within her family. For example, Dee wants the quilts not just because she thinks her mother and sister don't use them properly, but because she wants to show her heritage, and to own something nicer and maybe has more
This exemplifies to the readers that through the mother's eyes, Maggie was so extremely upset that Dee was once again going to win by taking the quilts because Maggie truly understands the meaning of the quilts and deserves to not be defeated by Dee. The author also reveals Maggie through her mother's eyes and how she already was going to give Maggie the quilts. While the mom was talking to Dee she fortifies that ,"I promised to give them quilts to Maggie"(Walker 64). This depicts how the mother grasps the fact that Maggie is particularly familiar with the family's heritage and culture that surrounds the meaning of the quilt. The mother believes Maggie recognizes the quilt's importance to the family by it symbolizing the family's heritage and the pride and memories it
Everyday Use Literary Analysis “Maggie will be nervous until her sister goes.”(Pg.50 line7) This is quote from the story Everyday Use by Alice Walker. The story revolves around a girl called Dee, her mom and sister Maggie. They have different opinions on different subjects especially relating to heritage. Dee is also really selfish which makes her have tension between her family since she only cares about herself. Throughout the story, there were a lot of conflicts between Dee and her family which shows with the quilt incident, butter churn controversy and lastly different views on heritage.