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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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. Dee has left home and pursued an education, which no one else in her family ever obtained. Through background info and how the visit unfolds the reader can realize that Dee has never been told “no” in her life.
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. In reality, Dee is just being selfish, and not taking the moment to understand why Maggie may want these quilts. Dee’s perspective on this is, she believes that she should have the quilts, and to do so, she will make up things about Maggie. In secondary source, Kathleen Wilson describes how Maggie holds the quilts close to her heart.
Mama was not happy about the request and suggested other 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
. Mom knows that Dee has irregular ways and is not necessarily like her or Maggie, but she in some ways looks up to Dee and longs for Dee to accept her. (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