“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.
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. Walker uses subtle clues to
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...
This also influenced the barrier between Dee and her family in which they have different ways of interpreting their values. According to Mama, Dee “never taken a shot without mak’ing sure the house is included” which portrays how dee is using them as a product for her own heritage while still maintaining a barrier between them. Also since Dee was raised having “nice things” she never wanted to recognize her past as growing up in a poverty setting because she was embarrassed of it. When Dee changed her name to “ Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo” she believed she was staying true to her heritage by having an African name, but she failed to realize her real name ‘Dee’ was passed down several generations back to when her family were slaves. Dee has changed her clothing as well to fit her new beliefs and it is the traditional African clothing which Mama finds peculiar because that was not how she raised her daughters.
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. In Alice Walker’s story “Everyday Use,” the audience will notice Dee’s attitude towards the other characters due to her hatred towards everything, high expectations, and ungratefulness throughout the story.
A Mother’s Promise Telling someone you love “no” might be one of the hardest things in life to do. In Alice Walker’s short story, “Everyday Use,” (re-printed in Thomas R. Arp and Greg Johnson, Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense, 12th ed [Stamford: 2015] 147-154), Mama had to do that very same thing. The story is about a daughter named Dee coming back home to visit her mother, Mama, and her sister, Maggie.
Alice Walker in “Everyday Use” uses the symbolism behind the guilt to demonstrate character perspectives and values. In my primary source “Everyday Use” Dee speculates that Maggie doesn't even admire the quilts as she does, in the short story Dee states on page 320, line 66-67, “‘Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts!’ ” This is an assumption that Dee makes, to make it seem like Maggie doesn't have the amount of appreciation she has for the quilts.
Mama promised the quilt to Maggie. Mama wanted to ensure the family treasure would be used for everyday purposes and not put on display. Mama’s beliefs and decisions in the story were compelling and added to the complexity of the relationships between the characters. Mama, Maggie and Dee wanted to preserve the family heritage, but in different
(Nancy Tuten) agrees by saying, "Mama's distaste for Dee's egotism is tempered by her desire to be respected by her daughter.” The Mom’s character changes during the quilt scene, as she realizes that Maggie shares the appreciation of culture and heritage, and Dee's appreciation is entirely different from theirs. During the quilt scene, Dee is demanding Mom to give her the quilts, and Mom says, "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.” In other words the daughter who she has always thought so highly of knew little of their culture and had little appreciation for their heritage. Walker creates the “mom” character to help defend her point, which is the importance of upholding the values and traditions in the African American
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
In “Everyday Use,” by Alice Walker, the theme, the meaning of heritage and how it is remembered, is established through the symbolism of the quilts. The author uses symbolism to imply the true meaning of heritage and how it is remembered is shown through the creation of the quilts as shown in the text, “In both of them were scraps of dresses Grandma Dee had worn...pieces of grandpa Jarrell's Paisley shorts. and one teeny faded blue piece… that was from great grandpa Ezar’s uniform that he wore in the Civil War,” (Walker 139). The quilt that was made of the objects listed above that symbolized the different generation of family being stitched together through Grandma, Big Dee, and Mama’s hands a person from each generation stitching the family together. This shows the bonding of the
The short story “everyday use” by Alice walker is a story about a mother and her two daughters Dee and Maggie. The story capitalize on the upbringing of two siblings, and how they can be raised under the same conditions and rules but still manage to have different outcomes. Dee belittles her family and many ways, and she believes she is better than her past. She believes that she know and understand the true meaning of her past.
Maggie is an extremely reserved girl who has an older sister named Dee. " Dee is lighter than Maggie, with nicer hair and a fuller figure." (10). She has horrible burn scars all over her body from a house fire, she can't walk well, and is thin. She is a very homely girl who respects, and remembers, her family's culture, values, and history.
A person's view on culture heavily influence how one sees and views the world around them. People are influenced by the cultures surrounding them as well as where they live. In the personal essay Two Ways to Belong in America ,written by Bharati Mukherjee, Bharati and her sister Mira were both born in Calcutta, India , but later moved to the United States. Bharati loved America and said "I am an American citizen and she is not" speaking to how she had embraced and been influenced by her surroundings but her sister had not.
Alice Malsenior was born in Eatonton Georgia on February 9, 1944 she being the eight and youngest child of Minnie Tallulah grant and Willie lee walker, her parent were sharecropper. When she about eight years old her and brother were playing with BB guns her brother accidently shot her in the eye, leaving her blind in her right eye. Considering that happening, she became a shy person and she felt like individuals really did not understand the person she was. In result to that, she fell in love with ready and writing, especially poetry. As she got older, she went on to Spellman College in Atlanta Georgia.