. 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
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
Maggie and her mother share a sisterhood that Dee will never understand. Through the characters of Mama, Maggie, and Dee, Walker displays the theme of oppression in the short story “Everyday Use.” Through the character of Mama, Walker communicates oppression due to a lack of femininity, education, and an inability to say “no” to Dee. Mama is a burley woman who, unlike Dee, enjoys the lesser things that life has to offer. She excels in the face of hard labor but lacks the skill to pull off a feminine version of herself. Dee longs for her mother to fit in with the women of the decade: “…one hundred pounds lighter, skin like an uncooked barley pancake, glistening hair, and witty (Walker 1).” Dee doesn’t understand why Mama doesn’t want to embrace a softer side of herself; however, Mama is content with her lifestyle.
Christine Kerr states “The mother narrator reminisces how Dee always “wanted nice things” even as a tennager.” Throughout Everyday Use, Dee shows a pattern of wanting things, such as her heritage to be shown. This is why Dee changes her last name. Christine Kerr demonstrates how Dee has more than one perspective on things within her family. For example, Dee wants the quilts not just because she thinks her mother and sister don't use them properly, but because she wants to show her heritage, and to own something nicer and maybe has more
Lawrence alludes to the bizarre nature of the relationship between the children and their mother in the first paragraph “Everybody else said of her: "She is such a good mother. She adores her children." Only she herself, and her children themselves, knew it was not so. They read it in each other's eyes.” (Lawrence, 1) So from the start, Lawrence sets up a tension between what society wants to believe and what actually is.
Her arrival causes mixed emotions. Maggie and Mama are excited to see her but they also ready themselves to be judged. Dee's superficiality and materialistic manner conflicts with the appreciation and high value that her mother and sister place on their
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. The author also reveals Maggie through her mother's eyes and how she already was going to give Maggie the quilts. While the mom was talking to Dee she fortifies that ,"I promised to give them quilts to Maggie"(Walker 64). This depicts how the mother grasps the fact that Maggie is particularly familiar with the family's heritage and culture that surrounds the meaning of the quilt. The mother believes Maggie recognizes the quilt's importance to the family by it symbolizing the family's heritage and the pride and memories it
And how Nea deals with this events. This story is written with the immature and unreliable 12-year old perspective. These two sisters have grown together all through their life’s, creating a strong bound, and the fact that her family and a “old guy” is taking away her sister is something she can’t stand. In the end Nea believes that she is saving Sourdi from Mr.Chhay and her mother. However what Nea does not understand in all her youth and idealism , is that sourdi does not want to be saved: She willfully accepts her fate and her marriage to Mr.Chhay because she finds financial stability and a secure future.
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).
Constancia ends up learning of her grandmother’s hardships, and drops the selfish character, saying, “That’s when I’m sent to my room to consider a number I hadn’t thought much about—until today. ” (Ortiz Cofer page 2). Constancia learns to value her grandmother, since she was the driving force that allowed her mother to be sent to America. From this she has transformed into a more understanding teenager, and learns to respect her grandmother because of this. Constancia was a selfish, social-status caring teenager who believes that her grandmother is embarrassing to be around, yet after her experience at the church, she learns to value her grandmother more, and respect her as much as