Alice Walker’s short story “Everyday Use” involves a conflict between two sisters and their desire for a family quilt. Each sister has a reason for wanting the quilt but Maggie deserves it more. She needs it because she will use it unlike Dee who will hang it up for others to view. Dee was being conceded when she said, “Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts,” when really, she is the one who would never appreciate them. Maggie will use the quilts “for when she marries John Thomas” as Mama said.
Everyone defines and identifies themselves in different ways. Whether it’s by our names, our religion, or our sexuality, we all have something different that make us unique and that we identify ourselves as. In Alice Walker’s short story “Everyday Use,” an African American woman tells the story of her daughter Dee’s long awaited visit. Upon her arrival the mother and her other daughter, Maggie, discover some drastic changes in Dee: she has changed her name to Wangero, she has also arrived with a mysterious man who calls himself Asalamalakim, and has adopted an African style of dress; all of this in an effort to depict what she sees as her heritage. During the course of her visit, Dee tries to take several items important to her family’s heritage.
The title of Alice Walker’s story Everyday Use proves significant because it is used as a measurement to determine value and importance. Dee wants the churn and quilts to be pieces of decoration, while Maggie would put them to everyday use as they were intended. To Dee everyday use would devalue the churn and quilts while her mother and Maggie, see everyday use as adding value, not subtracting it. Dee’s view on things and the value of them is quite different than that of her mother and sister. Her arrival causes mixed emotions.
Everyday Use Characterization Essay In Alice Walker’s Everyday Use , the Johnson family experiences a small reunion as the sister Dee returns home. Dee arrives with ideas about heritage that are radically different from the rest of the 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.
1. The schema builders greatly increased my understanding of essays from 50 Essays and Lila, and my interest in classic music more. As a reader, I would never search for the picture and biography of the author of the books or essays that I’m currently reading. But the schema builders are really helpful and vastly expand my horizon of viewing and reading a book such as when we watched the musical play “The Nickel Under Your Foot” in class to help us understand more about lives of a prostitute so we can related it to the novel Lila. Through this musical play we can see how difficult it is for women when working as a prostitute during that time, and how corrupted is the cops back then.
In the short story, “Everyday Use”, by Alice Walker, one can say that the quilts mentioned in the story symbolize heritage because the quilts were made by different generations of the family. Because of this, the reader can see that Dee views her heritage as something to be put up for display so people can admire her past, where as Maggie, views her heritage as something that is learned and teach to others. For example, when Mama tells Dee that she can’t have them, Dee says, “Well … What will you do with them? … ‘Hang them’ she said, like somebody used to never winning anything …”. As a general rule,
Professor Joe Sarnowski’s academic journal criticizes the characters of the story, “Every Day Use”. He examines the conflict between the mother and her oldest daughter, Dee. Sarnowski asserts that Dee is trying to justify her personal gain, since she cherishes the economic value of the quilts more than that of the heritage they represent. The author continues to compare Dee’s ego with that of her sister Maggie. Who in contrast, has true appreciation for her heritage.
heritage. Although most of their memories and a small chunk of their heritage got burned up in their house. Trapped in the house fired was Maggie who was severely burned. However, Maggie survived, which gave her the motive to live every day as if was your last. Although Maggie is very humble she does whisper out a few thing when it comes to her heritage.
have the luxury of affording things just to collect dust as decorations. Everything that she owned growing up was put to every day use. This also contradicts Dee’s desire to own things that will make her new home look fancy. All of these small personality differences cause the disagreement about respecting their heritage because it causes them to have different out looks on their heritage. Dee thinks that just because something has been used before, it should be known as priceless.