Maggie is described to have been “eyeing her sister with a mixture of envy and awe” throughout her life as she “thinks her sister has held life always in the palm of her hand…” showing how from Maggie’s perspective, Dee is the favorited sister and desires to attract the same attention (921). From the three women, Maggie feels viewed as the lowest and therefore views the world from the lowest perspective, lacking the confidence and beauty to face the world with the same poise as her sister. Mama then expresses how she, herself, would not look at “a strange white man in the eye...” unlike Dee, who would “look anyone in the eye” (922). This attribute further reflects more of Dee’s self-assurance as this action would be rather unheard of at this time when racism and segregation was highly present and acted upon. Moreover, the differing views from mother and daughter present themselves here once again as Maggie faces the surrounding world with no fear while Mama faces it with her “head turned in whichever way is farthest” (922).
Both Mrs. Johnson and her daughter Maggie are acquainted with their traditions and honors their ancestors while her other daughter Dee is quite the opposite and more fortunate to be educated. Dee has moved towards other traditions that go against the
Everyday Use is written in first person point of view. The narrator is Mama, so everything that is written from her point of view. This perspective allows the readers to see some of Mama’s inner thoughts and personal commentary about that is happening. An example of this is, “I didn’t want to bring up how I had offered Dee (Wangero) a quilt when she went away to college. Then she has told me they were old-fashioned, out of style,” (490).
The short story "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker is a story based on a mother and her two children, Dee and Maggie. Mama 's two children are night and day, you have the outspoken Dee and Maggie who is very meek. There are several different dynamic characters in this short story, but today I will be discussing only one, Maggie. Although we all see Maggie conveyed as a meek character throughout the story, she is clearly more than that she is the bearer of the family tradition and culture sacredness. How long ago was it the house burned?
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.
Mama dreams of reconciling with Dee on a television program where she embraces her “with tears in her eyes” (494). Although Mama’s dislike of Dee grows throughout the story, she never tells lies about her. In fact, she tries to make both daughters happy in the end, giving the home-made blankets to Maggie and telling Dee to “take one or two of the others” (499). In addition, the reader gains much insight into Mama’s character when she shares her feelings before snatching the blankets from Wangero: “When I looked at her like that something hit me in the top of my head and ran down to the soles of my feet. Just like when I’m in church and the spirit of God touches me and I get happy and shout” (499).
Due to Maggie being burned in the fire, it causes her to have not seek much attention from other people and have little self confidence. She is very shy and hides behind her mother to avoid interactions with people. Maggie is even nervous her own sister comes to visit. According to the text, Maggie will be nervous until after her sister goes: she will stand hopelessly in corners, homely and ashamed of the burn scars down her arms and legs, eying her sister with a mixture of envy and awe (297). Maggie is a static character.
While Dee is asking for the quilts, her mom remembers a time when she offered Dee the quilts before leaving and she replied ," They were old-fashioned, out of style"(Walker 64). This allows the reader to acknowledge that Dee does not fully comprehend the true meaning of the quilts, viewing the quilt as if it was just another object in the world. Later in the story, Maggie becomes upset when Dee was about to take the quilts. The author illustrates Maggie putting snuff in her bottom lip giving ," her face a kind of dopey, hangdog look"(Walker 65). 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.
Dee wants to use the churn to make a table out of it. In the story, Dee Says “I can use the chute top as a centerpiece for the alcove table,” ... (Walker 5). Another thing is the quilts she wants to use the quilts as decoration when there properly used as a bed sheet how they're using them now. Dee wants the quilts because she liked the patterns and all the fabric that was sown into them and that they will make a good decoration on the wall. Mama will not let her have it because she already promised to Maggie that she was going to give them to her.
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.