Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” is about a family of three women who have a weak relationship due to jealousy, burdens, and insensitivity. The characters are the narrator, Mama, Maggie, and her eldest daughter, Dee. The setting is the Deep South in the early 1970s. Dee, the antagonist, comes back home to pick up a few items she wants for her new home and wants the quilts Mama’s family has passed down for years, but Mama refuses. Dee believes her family is not intelligent enough to understand their family heritage and thinks she would be better off with the quilts and use them as an art piece.
“Everyday Use” by Alice Walker is a story told by an African American woman who receives a visit from her daughter Dee. Mama, along with her other daughter Maggie, live a poor life in the South while Dee has created a successful life for herself. Mama and Maggie clinch to their roots and heritage while Dee would rather get as far away as possible. Upon her return home Dee draws her attention to a specific quilt. The particular quilt and the title of the short story are the centers of what it means to encompass one’s culture into their everyday life.
In the story Everyday Use, there is conflict between the two main characters Maggie and Dee. The two sisters are arguing over their Grandma 's quilt. Maggie feels that she deserves the quilt because she will cherish it and make great use out of it, unlike her sister who only wants to frame it in order to remember her heritage. Dee is not used to being told "no" and she has always got everything she has ever asked for, which is why she puts up a fight for the quilt. Dee then goes on to explain to her family on page 172, how she is changing her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo.
After losing her father, she then loses her home, and everything she has ever loved. She must start over physically when she and Mama leave everything behind and move to the United States. "Do not be afraid to start over." (p. 15) Abuelita, who is Esperanza’s grandmother, says this to her and later, Esperanza utters these wise words herself. They are both speaking about the process of knitting, which serves as a metaphor for overcoming fears and reaching dreams.
Everyday use is a short story by Alice Walker published in her 1973 collection in Love and Trouble. This story revolves around the relationship between a mother and her daughters. The story concerns a young woman who has visited her mother in the village after a very long time. She thinks herself very educated and smart and attempts unsuccessfully to get the quilt which her mother had promised to gift to her younger daughter on her wedding. Another story, The Lottery is one of the most famous American short story written by Shirley Jackson.
This event, shows that her mom doesn’t agree with her because for Felicia Echo Park is home. This contributes to Aurora’s borderline and how she is divided between following her own path in life or following what is expected of her from her community and her parents which is to stay in Echo Park and not go out to look for something else outside of it. The character of Aurora includes how she is “light” and how light comes and goes which contributes to her wanting to move out of Echo Park and go on the side of the borderline that doesn’t include Echo Park. It shows the concept of borderline and how important it is for Aurora because it has a great impact to her life and her connection with her mother. Aurora wants to live a Americanized life more which causes her to start to depart from her culture and
Housewife In her article "Motherhood/Paradise Lost (Domestic Division)", Terry Martin Hekker, a housewife who had been married to John Hekker, her husband, discusses the drawbacks of housewife as an occupation for women by sharing with the public her experience as a housewife in two different situations and centuries. The article aims to inform other women that depending on housewife as an occupation is really bad for their future. Hekker’s article is a good advice for today’s mothers as it is based on real experience. Hekker explains in her article that housewife is a good occupation, but there must be alternative jobs as it is not a permanent occupation.
The departure is when the protagonist is separated from the known and steps into the unknown. Janie Crawford is a 16- year- old girl living with her grandmother that is forced to transition her lifestyle to another. Her grandmother is very firm and distinctive on pressuring Janie to marry at a young age. Janie feels she is not ready, but she knows she wants to experience the love so the feeling of curiosity motivates her to agree with her grandmother's choice.
Family affects how people see what kind of person you are from the outside view. Family is not always a positive situation; everyone has their own down faults. This point is shown in the story “Two Kinds” by Amy Tan. The situation in this story was all about family and the processes that make your culture better from the lessons that have happened or you have learned. In Two Kinds, there was this little girl named Ni Kan and her mother wanted her to be just like her.
She has set herself outside her own history, rejecting her real heritage in favor of a constructed one. Mama and Maggie, on the other hand, wish to continue using the quilts, and so continually engage with and build upon the family’s history. When Mama gives the quilts to Maggie, she ensures that the family heritage will stay alive in the manner she prefers. By using the quilts and making her own when they wear out, Maggie will add to the family’s legacy, rather than distancing herself from it. To put the quilts to everyday use, as Maggie will do, is symbolically preserving the family
In Alice Walker’s story Everyday Use, she represents the conflicts and struggles of earlier African American women. Walker describes the differences between the two sisters, which later shows the differences of the women in the African American culture. This is important because the ways of one’s culture and heritage is important to everyday life. One sister seems to be more of a common woman than the other.
The definition of heritage is property that is or may be inherited. In the short story, Everyday Use, by: Alice Walker, two sisters, Maggie and Dee Johnson, both have two different views of their family heritage. Dee comes home to visit Mama and Maggie after six years of being off on her own. While visiting, Maggie and Mama realize how Dee truly identifies with her heritage. When thought of heritage, Dee involves things, while Maggie involves people.
The parents informs the way one views others and the world. In the short story “Everyday Use” By Alice Walker Dee had stated “Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts!”.(64) This quote explains and shows how Maggie and Dee’s mother influenced Dees views on others and the world. Their mother has influenced dee to believe that old clothes stitched together by their grandmother, are too important to give to maggie because “She’d probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use”. However others would say that peers influence the way one views others and the world also.