Dee Wangero holds on the necessity of being educated. In "Everyday Use" Momma describes at one point how Dee "burned us with a lot of knowledge we didn't necessarily need to know"(Walker 112). In the era Mama was raised, women were expected to cook and clean and find meaning in life through these daily household chores. Momma inherited her name and the typical role black African American women were socially fit to do, and this satisfied her. She saw no need for an education when everything was fine in the stagnant place she held in society. In Sam Whitsitt's In Spite of it All: Reading Alice Walker's "Everyday Use" he writes, that quilting
Chang, Lan Samantha. "Hangzhou 1925." Ploughshares 30.1 (2004): 100-106. Academic Search Complete. Web. 04 Oct. 2015.
In Alice Walker’s short story “Everyday Use,” tells us a story of two daughters’, Dee and Maggie Johnson, with different ideas about their identities and values. Dee a young woman who, in the course of a visit to the rural home she thinks she has outgrown, attempts unsuccessfully to divert some fine old quilts ,earmarked for the dowry of a sister, into her own hands. Dee is Mrs. Johnson’s oldest daughter, the one who has always been determined, popular, and successful. Maggie is her young sister who was severely burned in the house fire as a child. She is still lives with her mother in poverty, putting “priceless” objects to “everyday use.” A similar view is expressed by Houston Baker and Charlotte Pierce-Baker, who writes, “A scarred and dull Maggie, who has been kept at home and confined to everyday offices, has but one reaction to the fiery and vivacious arrival of her sister.”
Dee wants to emerge as dependent on her African heritage. She changes her family’s name to more African style name, Wangero. Dee also changes her fashion style to a more traditional African style. Dee depends on her new heritage as history, while her mother dependence of it is practical use. Dee pushes away her mother’s traditional values, but keeps the history of them instead of their everyday use.
Dee (Wangero) and Hakim-a-barber are pitted against Maggie and Mama, who argued for African and the American strands of their heritage respectively. The relevance to the past is brought out by Mama’s memories. These memories are concretized by in some of the family belongings and brought to life Mama’s daily existence, which carries traditions and skills passed down the generations. Walker uses to title “Everyday Use” as a metaphor referring to quilts. These quilts are treasured and passed down from generation to generation, and they should be for everyday use instead of wall art. Using cherished items keeps the memories and past alive. To display family heirlooms seems withdrawn from one 's past and true meaning of their heritage. “Everyday Use” pertains not only to the quilts but also one’s heritage and culture and their choice of how they to honor
Symbols are displayed in both stories; the quilts in “Everyday Use” symbolize the memories of Mama’s family. The quilts are made of pieces of old clothing from Mama’s family. Each piece of the quilt represents that person and who they were. They are passed on to future generations along with stories of the ancestors’ past. The quilts represent pride of their ancestors’ struggles, where they came from and the fight to preserve their individuality. Unlike Dee, Mama and Maggie acknowledge their heritage from memories of their family members. Dee bases her heritage off ...
To begin with, in Walker's Everyday Use, the conflict is a result of clashing cultural values and of cultural point-of-view. Dee, who has adopted the Islamic culture and name the Wangero, returns to her African-American family for a reunion. While there, she asks that a pair of quilts from her deceased grandmother be given to her, not her sister, Maggie. Dee claims that her sister will ruin them through "everyday use." In fact, she charges during a discussion, "[Maggie would] probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use" (89). To these charges, her mother, the story's narrator, says, "I reckon she would [use the quilts daily] ... God knows I've been saving (the quilts) for long enough with no body using 'em. I hope she will" (89). Dee counters by saying, "You just don't understand ... your heritage" (90). She charges that her mother does not understand her heritage and therefore should give the quilts to her since she will preserve them. This conflict...
The story is told by Mama who is describing her two daughters to the audience. One who has gone to college and came changed. This particular daughter is named Dee and changes her behavior and appearance once she returns to visit her mother. The other daughter is named Maggie. Maggie is not educated, but she does keep the traditions taught by her mother. Maggie seems to know how valuable her heritage is in comparison to Dee. Mama has finally opened her eyes to the real world. As Mama grows older she reflections on how she can keep her traditions going once she is gone. The value of heritage is much more important to the mother at this point than anything else. Remember to live your life but never forget or try to change your heritage. Heritage
In the short story "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker, two sisters portray their contrasting family views on what they perceive to be heritage. The idea that a quilt is a part of a family's history is what the narrator is trying to point out. They aren't just parts of cloth put together to make a blanket. The quilt represents their ancestors' lives and tells a story with each individual stitch.
In the short story Mama Johnson and Maggie are waiting for Dee in the front yard. Dee had gone to Augusta to school and it was the first time she had gone to visit them. When Dee arrives Mama Johnson gets surprise because Dee tells her that she has changed her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo. While Mama Johnson and Maggie think that Dee has come to visit them, Dee just wants to get family objects that are good for art pieces. The conflict started when Dee wanted to take some quilts that had been quilted by Grandma Dee and Big Dee. Mama Johnson disagrees with Dee because she had promised the quilts to Maggie for when she gets married. In “Everyday Use”, Alice Walker uses symbolism to show how important culture and the family’s history are important to Mama Johnson and Maggie.
In “Everyday Use” symbolism is use a lot times. Dee is one of the main characters. Dee is a symbol of misrepresentation of heritage. As studymode explain to us that “Dee has changed her name to ‘Wangero’ to get closer to her heritages.” Dee changed her name to “Wangero” (718) because she wants to feel closer to her heritage, but her name comes from “Aunt Dicie.”Dee likes to feel better that her mom and her sister. As Voice.Yahoo explains to us “Dee makes the strangers hairdo and tinkling jewelry complete her look.” When Dee was a little girl she likes to feel better the Maggie and Mama Johnson.Dee was symbol of the black power movement. As David white state “walker ...
Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” is a short story about a mother and two very different daughters set in rural Georgia during the late 1960’s. The plot is centered around on the two daughters, Dee and Maggie, and focusing on the differences between the two and who will gain possession of two hand-made quilts that are seen as a coveted trophy by Dee and are viewed as everyday items Maggie. The final decision of which daughter ultimately receives the quilts will be made by Momma Johnson. Momma, who is never given a first name in the story, is a strong black woman with many man-like qualities. “In real life I am a large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands. In the winter I wear flannel nightgowns to bed and overalls during the day.” (DiYanni 744) Momma is a tough woman and has had to be both father and mother to the daughters although the story never comments on the absence of the father. The story revolves around a visit home by Dee who has been away at college and has recently discovered the true meaning of black heritage with her adoption of ideas and practices from black power groups while simultaneously rejecting her own upbringing. Upon arriving home, Dee announces that she has changed her name to “Wangero” in defiance of her white oppressors and to embrace her newly found African heritage with a more appropriate black name. Dee and Maggie are complete opposites in appearance, education and desire to escape their childhood surroundings. Maggie has little education and no noticeable desire to improve her situation and prefers to be left alone in the shadows where she can hide her physical and emotional scars from a house fire when she was a child. Hand sewn quilts become the objects of Dee’s desires; objects ...
In “Everyday Use,” we meet the narrator, Mrs. Johnson, also known as Mama. Mrs. Johnson has two daughters Dee and Maggie. When Dee and Maggie were young their old house caught on fire. Maggie was burnt in the fire and left with not only physical scars, but emotional scars as well. We first see Dee reject her heritage when she stands under the sweet gum tree as her house is burnt to the ground with her sister inside. Later Dee moves away and changes her name to Wangero Leewanika Kamanjo.
Most families have some piece of jewelry, furniture, or other symbolic collectible that is passed through many generations. These things often remind a person of a beloved grandparent or great-grandparent and are seen as priceless. In Alice Walker's "Everyday Use," the family heirloom, a couple of hand sewn quilts, represents the family members' emotions concerning their heritage.
Readers of Alice Walker's, "Everyday Use", discusses how the narrator realizes that Maggie understands her own heritage. What does the narrator mean when she says, "Just like when I'm in church and the spirit of God touches me and I get happy and shout?" Does the narrator do something amazing that she has not done before? Some readers opine that the narrator knows what it really feels like to have family. Others say that the narrator recognizes the importance of giving. However, both these readings are not with the point. The narrator realizes that Maggie should have the quilts because they embody her heritage.