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.
Wangero is some that just started liking her family heritage and things sence she just came into her family heritage that she should get anything that she wants from her mom. In David Cowart essay Heritage and Deracination in Walker 's “Everyday Use” he says, “Only by remaining in touch with a proximate history and immediate cultural reality can one lay claim to the quilts.” which is saying that Maggie does not stay in touch with her history or cultural even through she is there with her mom everyday(Cowart 171-72). When Wangero comes back with her boyfriend, she acts like she 's better than them because she found her heritage and she lost what is important to them the mother-daughter relationship. In another source it say “Dee obviously holds a central place in Mama’s world,” so her central place is the reason why all the stuff that she wants she gets especially things that hold heritage value(Susan Farrell 180). The mother-daughter bond that she shares with Wangero is much more special and that bond with her mom should mean more to her then the quilts or anything else with any type of history
Now, Dee wants the quilts as a material possession for remembering her grandma. Instead of putting the quilts to everyday use, Dee would hang them to honor her grandma and the hand-craftsmanship of her work (477). Upset by Dee’s reasoning and seeing the disappointment in her daughter Maggie’s eyes, Mama puts her foot down and takes control of the situation to preserve her integrity. “[I] hugged Maggie to me… snatched the quilts out of Miss Wangero’s hands and dumped them into Maggie’s lap,” (478). This quote is important for two reasons: the first is that Mama had done something she had never done before and that was love Maggie in the way she has tried with Dee over the course of her life.
“Everyday Use” Traditions are crucial to identities in order to preserve family values. Those values shape who we are. Without heritage and traditions, we are at risk of losing sight of who we are, and eventually those tenets will parish. In “Everyday Use,” by Alice Walker, three women internalize heritage differently; Dee doesn’t value her heritage, Maggie values her family’s heritage, and, in the end of the story, Mama realized the true embodiment and meaning of heritage. From a young age, Dee felt a detachment from her heritage, “Ten, twelve years” (Walker, 25).
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.
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.
The quilt was put together by Mama, her mother, her grandmother and so one. There is a lot of history hand stitched into the quilt. Mama will not let Dee have that specific quilt because it is worth more than an art piece. “When I looked at her like that something hit me on the top of my head ran down to the sole of my feet.” (Walker) Although, Maggie will put the quilt through everyday use but she will add to it, and pass it down to her children, which add to the family’s legacy. Mama Prefers to let Maggie have the quilt since she truly understand the value it holds.
The daughters, then, represent to their mother opposing forces in regards to socioeconomic and educational standards of living. Throughout her recollection of the story, the girls? mother learns to accept and even appreciate the fact that she and Maggie are resigned to living the only way they have ever known, while Dee has chosen to abandon that legacy and sees it only as a way of life to be honored, not lived. The author?s decision to narrate the story from a first-person point of view allows the reader to gain insight into the mother?s struggle that wouldn?t have been available otherwise. Throughout the beginning of the story, the mother describes both her views of herself and of her daughters.
She and Maggie tend the house together, ... ... middle of paper ... ...py and shout." The daughter who has the deeper family values, who understands the true nature of heritage will be getting the quilts. Although Dee tells momma "You just don't understand ... your heritage." it is she who does not understand the significance of what she holds in her hand. By making Momma the narrator, Alice Walker has given us a simple but clear viewpoint.
They were what symbolized the creativity of their family the quilts were a part of their family. The story itself is about two different worlds clashing. Mama and the women before her worked hard and did not receive and education. Mama sends Dee, the eldest daughter to school and not her younger daughter Maggie. They embody the two worlds that are clashing.