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. Mama finally stands up to Dee, and tells her that she promised Maggie the quilts so she could not have them. The story is told in first person point of view through the eyes of Mama.... ... middle of paper ... ...acters through Mama so that each daughter is portrayed in an accurate way. Using the symbol of the quilts deepens the characterization of the daughters because it shows how each character feels about her family and it’s history. Dee is characterized as a shallow person who will go with any trend that comes about while Maggie comes across as a reserved and quiet girl.
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.
Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” revolves around a conversation the mother has with the Dee, the daughter that went off to college and her sister Maggie. A discussion over who is more deserving of the hand stitched quilts sewed together by their mother, Grandmother, and Aunt Dee. During their conversation, both daughters will demonstrate how they appreciate their family quilts, but sadly, we can conclude that only one of the girls illustrates how to appreciate one’s culture. Maggie uses the quilts to remember her Grandmother Dee, while her sister Dee changes her name and only wants to use the quilts to decorate her home. Dee, a family name that the mother can trace beyond the civil war (464), but in spite that lineage Dee goes and trades her name for Wangero (464).
Everyday Use: Family Heirlooms In her short story Everyday Use, Alice Walker talks about a Mother Mama, and her two daughters Dee and Maggie, their personalities and reactions to preservation of their family heirlooms. She shows that while Dee has been sent to school for further education, Maggie is left at home and brought up in the old ways. Mama often dreams and longs for the day she can be reunited with Dee, like in the TV shows. She knows this may not be possible because Dee would read and shower them with a lot of knowledge that was unnecessary, only to push them away at the right moment, “like dimwits” (313); Mama and Dee have different conceptions of their family heritage. Family heirlooms to Mama means the people created, used
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).
The central theme of the story concerns the way in which an individual--Dee--understands her present life in relation to the traditions of her people and culture, while the thematic richness of "Everyday Use" is made possible by the flexible, perceptive voice of the first-person narrator--Dee's mother. The story focus on the way Dee sees the differences between her life and the lives of her mother and sister. Dee tells her mother and Maggie that they do not understand their "heritage," because they plan to put "priceless" heirloom quilts to "everyday use." The story makes clear that Dee is equally confused about the nature of her inheritance both from her immediate family and from the larger black tradition. The matter of Dee's name provides a good example of this confusion.
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).
But when it gets to the point where she wants to take some quilts that Big Dee and Mama had done she starts arguing with her mother and Martinez4 her mother tells her no Maggie stayed somewhat in shock because ‘no’ was not a word Dee was used to hearing. Dee is the oldest daughter of Mama Johnson. Eventough she is pretty and has the nice hair and everything she is totally a misrepresentation of her he... ... middle of paper ... ...nd appreciate them. Works Cited Bmad, Nick. “Symbolism in Walkers ‘Everyday Use’.” Enotes.
Dee has become a very materialistic person since she has come home from college. She wants the things that her mother has stored up from her ancestors. Dee wants these things because she wants to decorate her house with them. Dee even goes through her mother’s trunk to find other things such as her grandmother’s quilt. Dee wants the things because she wants to show her heritage but mother wants to give them to her sister who will actually use the items.
Less than that!” (Walker 77). Mama will not allow her daughter to take the quilts because she has been saving them for Dee’s sister, Maggie, and she wants the quilts to be put into everyday use. By helping