After Mama gives Maggie the quilts, Dee says, "You just don't understand," "Your heritage" (Walker, 91). Dee believes heritage and family values to be materialistic things. Dee understands that the quilts were hand-made, but she lacks the knowledge and history behind these quilts. On the other hand Mama and Maggie understand the meaning of the quilts and know that they were made for everyday use. Ironically, Dee criticizes Mama for not understanding heritage when, in fact, Dee fails to really understand her own heritage. Dee mistakenly places heritage wholly in what she owns, not what she knows.
As she visits with Hakim-a-barber, she takes pictures of the house as if she is at a tourist attraction and comments about various household items as if they suddenly interest her. Despite all that, her motives remain purely for aesthetical purposes and to show how she has risen above all of it. Items that she wishes to take such as the butter churn, which in fact is still being used by Mama and Maggie, and the quilts that Mama has tucked in a trunk at the foot of her bed, would merely gather dust in parts of Dee’s home. When she is told that she cannot have the quilts by Mama, Dee practically storms out of the house, telling her that she just does not understand her heritage. Perhaps that is true, but it is more so true on Dee’s
Dee was part of the educated culture of African Americans that were promoting their freedom. When Dee went to visit her family she wore a long dress, long gold earrings, and her hair standing straight up on that hot summer day. Dee is not dress like everyone else, she’s in her “African” attire. (Hoel) Dee is no longer the child her mother raised; Dee is a completely different individual with a completely new life style, even a new name. Dee has changed her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo. With this name change she believes it make her closer to her heritage and relieves her from her oppressors. Dee knows very little about heritage. Heritage is defined as something that is handed down from the past, as a tradition. (Dictionary) The name Dee is the name or nicknames of many women in the family. Dee’s name can be traced back to the civil war and beyond but Dee does not understand the importance behind the name she believes her oppressors gave the women in her family. Yakima-Barber is Dee’s Muslim friend that 's visiting mama with Dee, Mama believes he might be Dee’s boyfriends husband. Yakima-Barber claims the Muslim faith but is unwilling to commit to their hard labor principles. Dee and Yakima-Barber are two individuals with misapplied assumptions of that
Dee's interest in her heritage can only be described as a passing fad. Only the monetary value of the things she wishes to take mean anything to her. She does not have the skills to use the churn top nor make quilts, such as the ones Mama wishes to give to Maggie. Mama and Maggie have, cherish and use these skills every day, using their heritage. Dee does not see the practical uses of the churn top and the quilts; she sees dollar signs and a rise in social status. She knows virtually nothing of the families past and doesn’t really care.
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. 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...
In the beginning of the story, Dee (Wangero) is introduced as someone that needs to be impressed. The narrator has a fantasy about being reunited with Dee (Wangero) (393). She is described as being beautiful and a wonderful daughter with many good qualities. Besides being beautiful, she is confident. Instead of feeling suppressed because of the color of her skin, she is able to look people in the eye (394). Dee (Wangero) is also educated and the way she talks shows it. 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. Dee (Wangero) always seems to get wha...
While reading this there were some animosity toward Dee because of what type of character she was. The animosity was caused by the numerous comments and actions that occurred in the story. She was very selfish, uneducated, and very unappreciative of where she came from. Dee carried herself in a very ridiculous way. Among Dee’s family she is the object of jealousy, awe, and agitation, meanwhile she searches for her purpose and sense of self. Dee and her judgmental nature has an effect on Mama and Maggie, her younger sister. Although she across as being arrogant and insensitive, Mama sees he strive to know more and do more. Dee also portray as being a condensing type person because no matter where Mama and Maggie lived she still kept her commitment to come and visit. When Dee comes to visit she tells Maggie and Mama that she has changed her because Dee had died when she left for college. Dee changed her name to Wangoero, which come across as being an attention seeking ploy who still keeps the selfishness of Dee. With Dee changing her name to Wangoero she wants to reclaim her heritage and honor
When Dee comes back home to visit her mother and Sister Maggie she tries to express to them in as many ways as possible how they do not understand their own heritage. Dee tries to inform her mother and sister on their heritage a little by using her grandmother’s handmade quilts before she leaves, but her mother and sister do not understand how they are so important. At the end, Dee tells her mother that she just doesn’t understand her heritage on the way out she tells Maggie “You ought to try to make something of
One’s morals and beliefs can greatly influence their outlook on heritage and standards. In the story, Dee told her mother that she would visit them no matter where they lived, but would never bring her friends. Before she left to go to Augusta, Dee was unhappy with her family’s living situation, and she undermined Maggie and her mother by teasing them for their lack of education. Once Dee returns, she has a new outlook on her family and home. For instance, the quilts she once viewed as old fashioned, she can fully appreciate them given her new outlook on life. Dee also allows her mother to call her by her first name instead of the new one, which displays her willingness to accept her family relations.
Dee's physical beauty can be defined as one of her biggest assets. The fact that Maggie sees Dee "with a mixture of envy and awe" (409) cues the reader to Dee's favorable appearance. The simplistic way in which Walker states that "Dee is lighter than Maggie, with nicer hair and a fuller figure" (410) gives the reader the idea that Dee's beauty has made it easier for her to be accepted outside her family in society. We are left with the impression that Dee's appearance is above average. Walker plays on Dee's physical beauty to contrast the homeliness of Maggie and her mother. Walker goes so far as to describe her feet as "always neat-looking, as if God himself had shaped them with a certain style" (411). In describing Dee's feet, Walker is giving the impression of perfection from head to toe. Dee's outward beauty has "made her transition from poor farm girl to that of an educated, middle-class black woman possible" (Allen-Polley 11). Needless to say, Dee doesn't seem comfortable with her past and therefore has a difficult time accepting her future. It is as though she is not really connected with her family anymore. She simply needs them to fulfill their positions in her recreated past.
Dee makes it clear, long before she asked for the quilts, that she has already taken her heritage for granted. Dee makes the bold proclamation that she is not longer going by the name Dee, “‘Not Dee,’ Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo!’” (Walker, 3013). Not only has “Wangero” shocked her mother with her new name, but goes to attack those her family history, “I could not longer bear it any longer, being named after the people who oppressed me.” The author make a substantial point by connecting Dee’s new beliefs to disowning her heritage and her ancestors. Despite the rejection of her family’s humbled life, Dee finds a desire in the quilt of her family’s past. Dee’s request for the quilts is far from nostalgic and she has little consideration for her sister when she asks for both antique quilts. Dee is in love with the idea of displaying her family as a display of her superiority over her ancestors and can not understand why her mother would not agree with her.
I was born, not into poverty or luxury, but into adversity; to which I have always been eternally grateful. Being born in India and immigrating to America, I have seen my fair share of uphill struggles. When I started school in America in 1996, I only knew 2 words of English and they were ironically “No English.” However, there was always the Will to go on, weather it be getting a firm grasp on the English Language or learning a new sport. My parents embodied a very simple philosophy; “If you rest, you rust.” They believed that as long as the mind and body were occupied with a challenging activity, it would continue to cultivate and flourish. Growing up, they were sure to involve me in a wide variety of activities from Swimming, Fencing, Basketball, Karate, as well as Track and Field.
usual everyday customers just wanting to have a conversation. If you have never ate at the
Dee, the older sister, wants to hang the quilts on a wall and view her culture from a distance. In fact she even seems ashamed of her family situation. In a letter to her mother Dee says, " . . . 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).
I manage to do my homework until lunch time at 11:00. Once I am finished eating lunch I finish up some more work. Once 4:00 hits I manage to squeeze in time in my schedule to go to the gym and exercise with my sister. Once we are done at 5:30 I head back to my dorm to take a quick shower and start to get ready to do more work. Once it is 11:00 I head to my room to go to sleep and start my day all over again the next day. What surprised me least about my waking hours is me constantly having to do some type of homework assignment for my class.