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.
Because she wants it, she can display it as an art work in her own house. In addition, she also argues that she wants the grandma’s quilts. Dee said to her Mama, “You just will not understand. The point is these quilts, these quilts!” (Walker 400). Dee does not even know how to quilt.
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).
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
The mother explains, “I could have carried it back before the Civil Way through the branches” (464) Dee could not understand the cultural significance of her name, the very same name that came from her loved ones and not by her oppressors. She fails to appreciate the cultural significance of the name Dee. Dee wants to appreciate her family quilts by framing them in her home, but Maggie would most likely put them to everyday use and have them in order to remember her Grandmother ... ... middle of paper ... ...monstrate how little she cares for her family culture by displaying her family quilts as decor, changing her family name, and with her new identity, she has completely left her family culture. The mother can understand Dee’s viewpoint, but that is the reason she cannot grant Dee those quilts. When Maggie displays her affection about the quilts and is willing to part with them, her mother understands that she is more deserving of the family quilts.
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. As Mama stated, “In both of them were scraps of dresses Grandma Dee had worn fifty years and more years ago. Bits and pieces of Grandpa Jarrell’s paisley shirts. And one teeny faded blue piece, about the size of a penny matchbox, that was from Great Grandpa Ezra’s uniform that he wore in the civil war.” (1129). Despite her family’s history, Dee continues to misinterpret the... ... middle of paper ... ...nt to those generations.
She is also opinionated and her family is intimidated by it. Dee’s (Wangero’s) qualities are overall good qualities to have, but I feel like she uses them to act better than her family. The fact that she had changed her name to Wangero (397) and demanded the quilts while she was visiting made me feel that she was superficial. She did not even want the quilts when they were first offered to her before she went to college (400). I do not think it is right to change your family name and then come home and request family heirlooms.
They symbol of the quilt in the story is a sisterhood, empowerment, and nature, something that Dee has failed to realize (Martin, 2104). Dee is looking for her family’s heritage and it has been there. The family heirlooms are the true tokens of their origin. Mama finally realizes that she and Maggie have embraced their true heritage through quilting and tells Dee that she cannot have them because Maggie will take it when she gets married. The situational irony in the story at the end, Dee proclaims that Mama and Maggie have no knowledge of their heritage, but it is Dee who does not understand her
Dee wants these quilts to hang in her home, but mama has already promised them to Maggie when she gets married. Dee is appalled because she knows that Maggie with use them for everyday use and they will fall apart. Then, “something hit me in the top of my head and ran down to the soles of my feet” (Walker 939) Mama puts her foot down and does not let Dee take the quilts, because she knows that Maggie will appreciate them more because she learned to quilt from her grandmother and aunt. Dee thinks that to honor the past she has to put these things on display and not use them, whereas, Mama and Maggie know that to use them with love is a better way of honoring their
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).