In the story “Everyday Use” I find Maggie to be the most sympathetic. Maggie’s older sister, Dee, makes Maggie feel inferior to her. Maggie has burn scars and marks on her body, that makes her feel like she doesn’t look good. Dee always receive what she want and Dee is also smart. While Maggie isn’t so smart and doesn’t have the money or style to get what she wants. Alice Walker might find Dee most sympathetic. Alice relate to Dee more than she relates to Maggie. Alice knows what Dee went through to get where she’s at. Both Alice and Dee came from poor families trying to make it. Both went to college and made something out of themselves.
Dee and Maggie are two completely different people. Dee has different motivations than Maggie. In the short story Mama states: “Dee… at age sixteen had a style of her own: and knew what tyle was.” pg. 105. Dee knew what fashion was and wanted to pursue a career in the industry. On the other hand, we have Maggie. In the short story Mama states: “... for when Maggie marries John Thomas” pg. 108. Unlike Dee, who is very independent,
Dee is a girl who lived with her mom and her sister Maggie, but she wasn’t like them at all, she was different than her sister and her mother. Mama was collecting money to take Dee to school in Augusta. Dee liked to be fashionable, she always wanted nice things.
Maggie on the other hand, is characterized by her unattractiveness and timidity. Her skin is scarred from the fire that had happened ten or twelve years ago. Those scars she has on her body in the same way have scarred her soul leaving her ashamed. She “stumbles” in her reading, but Mrs. Johnson loves her saying she is sweet and is the daughter she can sing songs at church with, but more so that Maggie is like an image of her. She honors her family’s heritage and culture, by learning how to quilt and do things in the household, like her mother views their heritage. This shows why the two sisters have different perspectives on their heritage and how their experiences have contributed to each of their perspectives.
Speaker: Alice Walker writes in a first person point of view. The speaker is a single mother who “never had an education” (Walker 49). She is a minority, and accepts the lower status: “Who can even imagine me looking a strange white man in in the eye?” (48). The mother refuses to challenge the people society deem as better than her.
Have you ever not seen eye to eye with your mother? In Alice Walker’s short story “Everyday Use”, we are shown how many of the choices we make and the things we value create our identity. This story focuses on two characters, mama and her daughter Dee (Wangero), who struggle to see the same way about their heritage. Dee wants the things made by her grandmother, to not admire it as an artifact, but rather to remake it. She wants to take them, and change them to match her lifestyle as it is today. She loves them for the way they look. Mama, on the other hand, views the things from her mother as artifacts. She loves the items more than how they look. She admires the quilts because of their everyday use. Transformations take place between these characters. Dee’s transformation is more external than it is internal. She shows her transformation in the way she speaks, the clothes she wears, and her judgement. Mama’s transformation is more internal. She begins to see Dee’s real thoughts, and she stands up against her. When she takes the quilts away from Dee, she doesn’t only stand up for herself, but Maggie, as
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.
Maggie in Alice Walker’s short story “Everyday Use” plays the role of being the nervous and ugly sister of the story, however she is the child with the good heart. Maggie was nervous ashamed of her scars “Maggie was nervous… she will stand hopelessly in corners, homely ashamed of the burn scars down her arms and legs”. Living in a house with a pretty sister and being the ugly sister with scars could be the reason why she picked up on a timid personality, being ‘ashamed’ of her own skin shaping her in a way that she degraded herself from everybody else. Maggie was not this way before the fire, her mother stated, as it is quoted that she had adopted to a certain walk ever since the fire. She now walked looking down looking down as she shuffles
Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo [Dee] is a fascinating character in “Everyday Use” written by Alice Walker. The story is over an African American mother and her two daughters. The story focuses on one daughter, Dee that is coming home to visit her family. She grew up wanting to become a different a person, and she hated how she lived when she was with her mom and sister. Dee is spoiled, tenacious, and ignorant in this short story.
Alice Walker’s Everyday Use (rpt. in Thomas R. Arp and Greg Johnson, Perrine’s Literature Sound and Structure 11th ed [Boston: Wadsworth, 2012] 166-173) is a short story told by the mother of two daughters, Mama. The story tells the tale of the return of Mama’s oldest daughter, Dee, and the problems that Dee’s return causes for Mama and her youngest daughter, Maggie. This short story includes humor and irony, displays detailed characterization, and portrays a very effective point of view. These three literary elements contribute to this story by giving insight into the past and the true personalities of the characters, and the way the characters have changed over time.
In the short stories we have read there have been numerous themes. The impact of tradition, the value of heritage, the importance of family, the divide between social classes, and the presence of love are all ideas that can be found in the stories we have read. Short stories have managed to encapture the importance and true meaning of life in just a few sentences by imposing on the readers themes we can all relate to. A common theme presented in Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” and Toni Cade Bambara’s “The Lesson” is the power of knowledge and education.
Alice walker in Everyday Use demonstrates the understanding of African American heritage. Understanding your heritage is important because you should always look back on where you came from. Where you came from is such a big part of who you are and is something know one can take away from you. When you understand your heritage, you get to pass it on to others. Walker does this by using characterization, symbolism, and theme.
The comparison of characters is something an author allows us to do while reading a
In the short story “Everyday Use” Alice Walker takes the reader through a world that was in the midst of a radical change. A time when new affluence was coming to a generation of African Americans. Walker’s generation knew nothing but hardships, and they had to make due with whatever they happened to have around. Therefore, many of the items which Dee and Maggie see in the course of the story have radically different meanings. Dee, having had the advantage of leaving home to go to college, had her life changed by the lifestyle she was introduced to in the city. When she came home again, her view of the items which Maggie and her mother considered as everyday use items had taken on a whole new meaning to her, she now saw them as artifacts instead of things which were useful. This new outlook on her life caused Dee to place different values on the items with which she had grown up. She wanted to take the items as things to put on display like art hanging on a wall. Dee even wanted the cherished quilts to “hang them” (Walker, 1973) instead of using them as blankets. As she saw it, to use the quilts for their original purpose would destroy them, or as she said, “Maggie would put them on the bed and in five years they 'd be in rags” (Walker, 1973). This is a scenario that has played out many times over the course of human history. Things which have only a utilitarian value to the present generation, take on an aura of