She went to college after high school and didn’t return home after she graduated. She got married to a Muslim man and she became so concerned with her family’s history. When she arrived, she became so concerned with taking pictures of the farmhouse she grew up in a soon as she got their she didn’t even greet her mother and sister Maggie right away. When she entered the home she immediately began to scan the room for things that she felt were good enough to go into her apartment in the city, she also wanted included things that she felt were good enough to impress her friends and to show her where they are from. When she reached the home, she mentioned a few things that stood out to her which included a butter churn and 2 quilts. The two quilts in particular stuck out to her because the two were hand sew by her grandmothers and aunt , along with her mother. Maggie her sister states, “She can have them, Mama,” She said, like somebody used to never winning anything, or having anything reserved for her. “I can member’ Grandma Dee without the quilts’” (Walker). Maggie her younger sister who still lived at home with her family let her sister know she could have them simply because she knew that it wasn’t the quilts that were going to make her remember she’s remembers the years they spent together unlike her sister who was never really around the house as much as Maggie and this was giving Maggie as sense of pride
Not too long ago, grandparents will tell family stories to their grandchildren. Parents will also tell their children family stories. Those family stories will contain family history, struggle and heroism of family members. Also, those stories will pass down the family values and traditions to the next generations. Now a days, most parents read stories from books to their children. Family story telling is an almost lost tradition because it is not practiced anymore. In her short story “Everyday Use”, Alice walker illustrates the importance of keeping a tradition alive other than preserving it.
In Alice Walker’s Short story “Everyday Use” a mother is conflicted between her two daughters and the families quilt. Maggie is uneducated and financial unstable, and Dee is a well-educated woman that’s embarrassed of her family. Each believing they are entitled to family inheritance. The story characterize heritage and how heritage is portaged differently between the two sister. The main characters in this story, "Mama" and Maggie are on one side, and Dee on the other, each have opposing views on the value and worth of the various items in their lives, this conflict makes the point that the substance of an object is more important than style.
"Everyday Use" is something that most people use to signify the common ordinary things we use on a daily basis. The author, by using this title, brings important significance to these items. The author may be trying to convey to the reader that our daily lives and the things we use every day are more important in learning who ...
In the story 'Everyday Use', by Alice Walker, the value of ones culture and heritage are defined as a part of life that should not be looked upon as history but as a living existence of the past. Walker writes of the conflict between two Black cultures. Dee and Maggie are sisters whom do not share the same ideals. Mama is torn between two children with different perspectives of what life truly means. In the story, Walker describes the trial and tribulations of one daughter whose whole life is tormented by fear, failure and weakness; while the other "has held life always in the palm of one hand"(61) and moves to a better lifestyle. The possessions of the past will ultimately change the relationships of the future.
... attempts to change the way Mama and Maggie perceive tradition by using the quilts as a wall display. Mama refuses to allow it, Dee was offered the quilts when she was in college and didn’t want them at that time. Mama gives the quilts to Maggie as her wedding gift to be used every day as they were intended, knowing how much Maggie appreciates them. I agree with Mama and Maggie for keeping family memories and objects in daily use. It is important to maintain your family history in your everyday life to preserve those special memories.
Heritage is one of the most important factors that represents where a person came from. In “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, this short story characterizes not only the symbolism of heritage, but also separates the difference between what heritage really means and what it may be portrayed as. Throughout the story, it reveals an African-American family living in small home and struggling financially. Dee is a well-educated woman who struggles to understand her family's heritage because she is embarrassed of her mother and sister, Mama and Maggie. Unlike Dee, Mama and Maggie do not have an education, but they understand and appreciate their family's background. In “Everyday Use,” the quilts, handicrafts, and Dee’s transformation helps the reader interpret that Walker exposed symbolism of heritage in two distinctive point of views.
Quilts symbolize a family’s heritage. Maggie adheres the tradition by learning how to quilt from her grandmother and by sewing her own quilts. Maggie also puts her grandmother’s quilts into everyday use. Therefore, when Dee covets the family’s heirloom, wanting to take her grandmother’s hand-stitched quilts away for decoration, Mama gives the quilts to Maggie. Mama believes that Maggie will continually engage with and build upon the family’s history by using the quilts daily rather than distance herself from
Heritage is something that comes to or belongs to one by reason of birth. This may be the way it is defined in the dictionary, but everyone has their own beliefs and ideas of what shapes their heritage. In the story “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, these different views are very evident by the way Dee (Wangero) and Mrs. Johnson (Mama) see the world and the discrepancy of who will inherit the family’s quilts. Symbolism such as certain objects, their front yard, and the different characters, are all used to represent the main theme that heritage is something to always be proud of.
Like most peoples families there is a dynamic of people involved, although all from the same environment and teachings, it is ultimately an accumulation of personal experiences that shape us and defines how we perceive our existence. “Everyday Use” is a story of conflict of right and wrong and also family values. Walkers’ narrator, “Mama”, struggles with her disrespectful daughter ‘Dee”. Though “Mama” was quoted to have worked hard like a man to send her to school gratitude is never mentioned. “Clearly, Dee privileges language over silence, as she demonstrates in her determination to be educated and in the importance she places on her name” (Tuten). Since “Dee” had been out of the house and to school in the city she had lost touch with where she came from and had little respect for the family heritage. Maggie having been burned in a house fire had learned to love the shelter that only a family can provide. Being burned makes you like no one else, everywhere you go you feel eyes looking. Since she had not been out of the house and had the time to learn the value of family she regarded the quilts as a part of her heritage.
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
The idea of heritage is very different from one person to another. The story of “Everyday Use” shows a dynamic picture of two sisters that see their family history and upbringing nearly opposite points of view. The quilts become the catalyst for a cultural battle between Dee’s (Wangero) new “enlightened” lifestyle and Maggie’s contentment with her upbringing.
Regretfully, though readers can see how Mama has had a difficult time in being a single mother and raising two daughters, Dee, the oldest daughter, refuses to acknowledge this. For she instead hold the misconception that heritage is simply material or rather artificial and does not lie in ones heart. However, from Mama’s narrations, readers are aware that this cultural tradition does lie within ones heart, especially those of Mama’s and Maggie’s, and that it is the pure foundation over any external definition.
Alice Walker used symbolism to convey the importance of heritage in her short story "Everyday Use," by using the sisters' actions, family items, and tradition. Dee does not appreciate her heritage like her sister and mother. She does not see the importance of family traditions. The churn top, the bench with her ancestor's rump prints, the butter dish, and the quilts are all symbols of their heritage. Dee is only interested in the items because they make great decorations. Heritage is very important factor in a person's life. Everyone should learn to appreciate their family history.
In Alice Walker's "Everyday Use," the message about the preservation of heritage, specifically African-American heritage, is very clear. It is obvious that Walker believes that a person's heritage should be a living, dynamic part of the culture from which it arose and not a frozen timepiece only to be observed from a distance. There are two main approaches to heritage preservation depicted by the characters in this story. The narrator, a middle-aged African-American woman, and her youngest daughter Maggie, are in agreement with Walker. To them, their family heritage is everything around them that is involved in their everyday lives and everything that was involved in the lives of their ancestors. To Dee, the narrator's oldest daughter, heritage is the past - something to frame or hang on the wall, a mere artistic, aesthetic reminder of her family history. Walker depicts Dee's view of family heritage as being one of confusion and lack of understanding.