A mother and daughter’s conflict in “Everyday Use” is about their heritage overall. In the end of the story, Dee tells Mama, “What don’t I understand?” I wanted to know. “Your heritage,” she said.” (Walker 17) Dee has gone out and learned an outside look of her culture. She is from the outside looking whereas Mama is living the culture. But, yet, Dee tells her mother that she doesn’t understand her culture.
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.
Everyday use was one of her books and it was published in 1973. This story talks about a family that consists of the mother (narrator) and her two daughters’ (Dee and Maggie). In the story they never say anything about the father because he was dead. The main things that the story is revolving around is the heritage and how it is important, the relationship between the two sisters, how education makes a differences, and finally about how generations changed by time. Alice walker gave the mother an important character in the story and she tried to show us how the father has a very important part of any family.
1. I could imagine the relationship between Mama and Dee being very intense after the birth of her sister Maggie. The story states that her mom thought she hated Maggie until her and the church raised enough money to send her to school. I do not feel as though Dee and mama were very close because the story states how Dee hated the old house and does not reflect on any good memories between Dee and Mama. I believe the mother is very proud of Dee because she got further in her education than mama did.
To begin with, let’s see the themes of the story, which is the most important element of a story which authors try to convey the message of their writings to readers: In “Everyday use”, the theme is about appreciating the past and one 's family heritage. In the story, Dee wanted a modern identity, but one tied to her African heritage, which she believes to be more important. Mockingly, she tells her mother not to call her Dee anymore rather to be called by her African new name, Wangero. Maggie, on the other hand, embraces her past, loving the handmade quilts her grandma made. According to the narrator opinion, the way to value the past is to keep it alive by using it in everyday use not to keep it in museum or separating yourself from
Conflict fuels most relationships through tough times. In the story "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker, the characters of Mama and Dee have a stressful conflict placed upon their relationship. Mama was raised upon the philosophy that strong work can achieve anything, while Dee was raised in a more educated environment than Mama. This causes a conflict, which causes trouble in their relationship, showing that conflict has a negative impact on relationships. One conflict that takes place happens when Dee arrives home from college.
In Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” and Theodore Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz”, both authors use their version of a parent-child relationship to convey feelings of disappointment, and romanization of their relationships, commonly through imagery and a large shift from a romanticized version of the parent-child relationship to the reality of a not so perfect parent-child relationship in both literary works that are contrary to the original thought of the stories. In Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use”, the protagonist, Mama, shows definite favor for her eldest daughter, Dee, over her youngest daughter, Maggie. Mama romanticizes Dee, through a vivid use of imagery, describing her body as something that is be preferred over Maggie’s body: “Dee is lighter than Maggie with nicer hair and a fuller figure…” (Walker 319). This quote shows how Mama favors Dee more than Maggie by pointing out her physical attributes like Maggie’s “… burn scares [that] [run] down her arms and legs” (Walker 318). Furthermore, Mama believes that Dee will be more successful daughter as she is the one who is pursuing a secondary education, and Maggie is not pursuing an education.
In her mind, Mama thinks back to the time when she had offered the quilts to her; “I didn’t want to bring up how I had offered Dee (Wangero) a quilt when she went away to college. Then she had told me they were old-fashioned, out of style” (Walker 320). After going away, Dee is more insistent on preserving her “heritage”. Dee’s ignorance has caused her to separate herself from her family and blind her from her true heritage. With big ideas came the loss of her identity and her true sense of self.
No matter what type of background you have come from everyone has a view on the world. Today we’ll be looking at 2 short stories and a movie such as Everyday Use, An Indian Father’s Plea and Bend it Like Beckham. Through these stories I’ll show you how one's culture informs the way one views the world and others most of the time. In Alice Walker’s short story “Everyday Use”, Maggie is heavily influenced by her culture and the way she views others. Since, Maggie has been under her mother’s protection for most of her life she has acquired a lifetime skill of quilting, which has been past down from generation from generation.
The Dee’s mother who is known as, “Mama”, in the story attempts to understand and accept Dee for the path she has chosen, but doesn’t know how. Mama is poorly educated and doesn’t know much about anything outside of the south. Furthermore, Mama meets her Dee’s partner who is a muslim, however Mama doesn’t know what a muslim is. When he greeted Mama by saying the universal greeting by most muslims, “assalamualaikum”, she thought is was his name. Dee and Mama do not see eye to eye and have multiple differences between each other making a direct conflict.