They symbolize the family’s history and represent memories they have of their grandma. The symbol of the quilts creates the central conflict in the story. The way each daughter treats the quilt reveals her feelings about her family’s history. Dee sees the quilts as something she can show off, hang on the wall and forget the meaning of. Maggie has been promised the quilts, but does not think that they are worth fighting for because she knows she can remember her grandma without them.
The daughter finds two pairs of quilts tell the great significance those quilts have because they had been quilted by her grandmother, her aunt, and her mother. In the end of the story she tells her mother she wants them, but not the one with any machine stitching. The mother finds out her daughter only wants the quilts for display and not for bedding as they are meant to be used for. She decides to give them to her youngest daughter who will use them for herself, not as a pretense of displaying heritage. Alice Walker story exposes the theme of heritage.
It is imperative to understand that these heirlooms are mere representation of heirlooms designed for everyday use. It is ironic that Dee changes her name, and wants to take the dasher to show off in her home as part of her heritage when she is trying so hard to distance herself from her past. She does not understand that she is taking away an item used every day by her mother. She is convinced that Maggie does not deserve the quilt, because she would merely put it to everyday use. Mama cannot fathom the reason behind Dee’s desire to possess the quilt when it is obvious she sees it as an artifact.
In Alice Walker’s short story “Everyday Use” is about a girl named Dee that is going to college and she comes home once in awhile. When she goes home she expects her mom and Maggie to give her almost anything she wants. Dee also changed her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo because she was trying to get into her heritage and she wanted her mom’s churn top that her Uncle Buddy hand carved and then she wanted her grandma and Aunts hand stitched quilts but her mom wouldn’t let her have those because she told Maggie she could have them when she gets married. In “Everyday Use” is mostly about heritage, but it also has another meaning which is about the mother-daughter relationship. How does the mother-daughter relationship help play a role
Wangero (Dee) attempts to connect with her heritage by taking “picture after picture of me sitting there in fron... ... middle of paper ... ...ou 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 6). These final words she says to Maggie only solidifies the fact that Dee’s idea of heritage is very much misconstrued. Dee sees heritage as the quilt on the wall or chute top on the alcove.
She would frame the quilts and hang them on the wall, distancing them from her present life and aspirations; to put them to everyday use would be to admit her status as a member of her old-fashioned family. Taken as a whole, while the story clearly endorses the commonsense perspective of Dee's mother over Dee's affectations, it does not disdain Dee's struggle to move beyond the limited world of her youth. Clearly, however, she has not yet arrived at a stage of self-understanding. Her mother and sister are ahead of her in that respect.
The quilt was put together by Mama, her mother, her grandmother and so one. There is a lot of history hand stitched into the quilt. Mama will not let Dee have that specific quilt because it is worth more than an art piece. “When I looked at her like that something hit me on the top of my head ran down to the sole of my feet.” (Walker) Although, Maggie will put the quilt through everyday use but she will add to it, and pass it down to her children, which add to the family’s legacy. Mama Prefers to let Maggie have the quilt since she truly understand the value it holds.
no matter where [they] choose to live, she will manage to come and see [them], but she will never bring her friends" (87). She even goes as far as to denounce her name because she claims, " I couldn't bear it any longer being named after the people that oppress me" (89). However, her mother states that she was named after her aunt and grandmother, the very people who made her beloved quilts. She makes it apparent that her idea of appreciating her culture is to leave it alone, especially when she says, " Maggie can't appreciate these quilts! She'd probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use"(91).
Once her mother tells her that she will not be getting them, that they are going to Maggie, Dee replied, “Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts!” Then she said, “She’d probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use” (448). This showed me she may be educated college wise, but definitely not in... ... middle of paper ... ... she felt inferior to her sister, Dee. Then when Dee insisted on having the quilts that were already promised to Maggie for when she married, Maggie replied, “She can have them, Mama” (448). When the mother saw what was happening she snatched them from Dee to hand off to Maggie. Once Dee and Asalamalakim left without the quilts, Maggie smiled (449).
Unlike Dee, Mama and Maggie do not have an education, but they understand and appreciate their family's background. In “Everyday Use,” the quilts, handicrafts, and Dee’s transformation helps the reader interpret that Walker exposed symbolism of heritage in two distinctive point of views. The quilts play an important role in depicting symbolism of heritage because they signify Dee’s family origins. For instance, Dees’ significant family members all have pieces of their fabric sown on to the quilts as a remembrance of who they were and their importance in the family. Nevertheless, Dee is overlooking important facets of her family history because she does not see the quilts her ancestors made as valuable, hand-made, pieces of fabric that should be passed down and taken care of to keep their history alive.