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).
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.
Nonetheless, the women still managed to pass down their gifts to their children. If these are her theoretical statements about the vision of art “Everyday Use” is a story that fits her ideas. In her story “Everyday Use,” Alice Walker talks about what heritage really meant. The conflict of the story came from the quilts. They were what symbolized the creativity of their family the quilts were a part of their family.
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.
She wanted her grandmother’s handmade quilts, even though her mother refused to give her. Her mother was saving the quilts for her sister for when she would get married. Dee insisted on having them. She was thoughtless toward her sister. Although Dee was thoughtless, resentful, and demanding towards family, being educated taught her to value her heritage.
When Dee starts asking to have the items that her Mom and Maggie need for everyday use with the intent to appreciate it as art, it only furthers how much she irritates her Mom. Dee had been offered one of the quilts before she went to college Dee thought they were, “old-fashioned, out of style.”(490). It’s after Maggie agrees to give Dee the quilts that her Mom realizes that she has always given Dee everything she wanted even at Maggie’s expense. Mother had an epiphany about how to handle the situation, shown when she says, “Something hit me on top of the head”, “just like when I’m in church and the spirit of God touches me”(492). Dee’s attitude had annoyed the Mom so much she had this realization.
The quilts become the catalyst for a cultural battle between Dee’s (Wangero) new “enlightened” lifestyle and Maggie’s contentment with her upbringing. 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.
when her mother approached her and said “Dee (313).” Dee quickly corrected her mother and said “No mama, not Dee, Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo (313)!” Dee told her mother “I couldn’t bear it any longer being named after the people who oppress me(313).” D... ... middle of paper ... ... mind, it was hers accoriding to her. Mama says that, “Dee looked at me with hatred (321).” The one time that Dee does not get what she wants she flips out. She argued her mother down, “You just will not understand. The point is these quilts, these quilts (321)!” Her self-centered ways would not let her give up. When she realizes that her mother was standing her ground and snatched the quilts away, she just left without saying a word.
Even though Mama describes herself as a person that lacks education and knowledge she honors her heritage in her own way. This is exposed to the reader when Mama questions Dee why changed her name to “Wangero” and explains to her the significance of her name “You know as well as me that you was named after your aunt Dicie” (Walker 98). This shows that Mama values her heritage by naming her daughter Dee, a name that has been passed down by her ancestors. Throughout the story Mama tells the reader the significance behind the value of each object. For example she explains to her daughter Dee the meaning behind the quilts she wants to take with her.
When Dee finds out that her mama promise to give the quilts to her sister, Dee gets very angry and says that she deserves the quilts more than Maggie because Maggie would not take care of them like she would. Dee feels that she can value and treasure heritage more than her sister Maggie. Dee does what she wants, whenever she wants and she will not accept the word no for any answer. “She thinks her sister has held life always in the palm of one hand, that "no" is a word the world never learned to say to her.” Maggie is used to never getting anything. Throughout the entire story, it says that Maggie gives up many things so Dee can have what she needs or