In the short story “Everyday Use,” Alice Walker shows the conflicts and struggles with people of the African-American culture in America. The author focuses on the members of the Johnson family, who are the main characters. In the family there are 2 daughters and a mother. The first daughter is named Maggie, who had been injured in a house fire has been living with her mom. Her older sister is Dee, who grew up with natural beauty wanted to have a better life than her mother and sister.The author used symbolism throughout the whole story to show the difference between these characters. The symbolism is there to give us a further explanation on the family and also to tell us how much heritage is important to some, but not others.
Dee always stood higher than her family, her town, her community, which made her mother and sister learn to roll with her punches. Finally, Mama says no to Dee, she takes a stand and we see the courage that the heritage and family behind mama help her take a stand and protect the family quilts for Maggie. In the end Alice Walker, author of “Everyday Use,” signifies the meaning of heritage and how it is remembered through symbolism, specifically through the making of the quilts and the courage that it brings to the
Dee and Maggie’s behavior did not change throughout the story, but Mama’s attitude proves to be drastically transformed by the end. As Dee is introduced towards the beginning, the author implies that Maggie thinks “her sister has held life always in the palm of one hand, that ‘no’ is a word the world never learned to say to her”. However, while Dee and Mama argue over the quilts, Mama claims, “I did something I never had done before: hugged maggie to me, then dragged her on into the room, snatched the quilts out of Miss Wangero’s hands”. This action from Mama distinctly epitomizes her denial towards Dee. Mama’s rejection perfectly exemplifies her change, because in retrospect, Dee is portrayed as a girl who never had to think twice about
A sentimental item can allow one to tie their memories to it once a moment comes to an end, letting them continuously cherish that memory. The item can range from anything a person wants, depending on them and their experiences; such as, the quilts in the short story "Everyday Use" and the poem " My Mother Pieced my Quilts". Both Teresa Acosta and Alice Walker use imagery and figurative language to establish the quilt as the love and respect for both of their family's heritage.
Maggie In Alice Walker's Everyday Use, the use of a flamboyant and downright abrasive character as Dee helps to portray the serious effects of a lack of exposure to society in the quiet and passive demeanor of Maggie. Maggie's isolation from the riches of society in the world offers a stark contrast with her sister, Dee. Where Dee is ostentatious and loud, Maggie is almost silent and shies away from any flux of social activity. She's is repeatedly skittish
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).
Quilt Essay Family memories not only hold us together during the tough times but also provide a foundation especially when enhanced by a mother's love. Some people are able to appreciate their family heritage, while others do not recognize or take it for granted. In the poem "My Mother Pieced Quilts" by Teresa Acosta and the short story "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker, both authors use figurative language and imagery to establish the quilt as a symbol for a mother's love and respecting family heritage to illustrate their themes. In her poem Teresa Acosta displays the quilt as a symbol for the mother's love.
“the quilts are the central symbol of the story representing the connectedness of history and intergenerational tries of the family” (“everyday use”). This means that the quilts mean heritage and remind the daughters of grand mom dee. The quilts are fought over at the end of the story because of the meaning of them. One daughter wants them for everyday use and one wants them just to have them because it means heritage to her. The mother at the end of the story agrees that they should be used for everyday use.
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.
The comparison of characters is something an author allows us to do while reading a
Ms. Johnson didn't have an education, yet she knew the value of the quilts and she didn’t let a few words from Dee change her decision of giving the quilts to Maggie. Dee leaves her mother’s house quite upset and tells her sister, “You ought to try to make something of yourself, too, Maggie. It’s really a new day for us. But from the way you and Mama still live you’d never know it” (Walker 12).
Everyday Use Literary Analysis “Maggie will be nervous until her sister goes. ”(Pg.50 line7) This is quote from the story Everyday Use by Alice Walker. The story revolves around a girl called Dee, her mom and sister Maggie. They have different opinions on different subjects especially relating to heritage.
In the short story” Everyday Use” by Alice Walker who tells a story about black women who have two daughters Maggie and Dee. She has to have the decision to give the quilts of one of her two daughters. Dee her oldest daughter who has been away at college and comes to visit her family and she wants the quilts as popular fashion and show them as part of their heritage. Maggie, her youngest daughter, who lives with her mother at home and understands the family tradition and heritage.her mother has been promised to give the quilts for her. The quilts mean for Maggie communication with family and culture.
In the movie Everyday Use by Alice walker Dee comes home and acts like she has a completely different culture than her mother and her sister Maggie. Dee says “No, Mama,” she says “Not Dee, Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo”. (Everyday Use 61) . Dee says “Hang them” (Everyday Use). Referring to the quilts she yells at her mom because she think that Maggie will actually use them and ruin them.