The Character of Dee in Everyday Use

The Character of Dee in Everyday Use

Length: 636 words (1.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The Character of Dee in Everyday Use

While reading the story "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker, I found that I had a surprising amount of anger towards the character named Dee, or as she prefers Wangero. The anger that was instilled in me was caused by numerous comments and actions that occurred throughout reading the short story. I feel she was selfish, uneducated and unappreciative of her past and that the way she carried herself was ridiculous.

Right from the beginning of my readings you are introduced to a character named Dee, before you ever get the opportunity to warm up to her character, she shows a very selfish characteristic and that trait is repeatedly brought out in the story. From the start, shortly after the introduction to her new boyfriend, Dee begins to ask for things. For instance, the desk and the chair, Dee wants to take them to help spice up her and Hakim the Barber's house when those objects are still in "everyday use" in their own home. Another instance is when she asks her mother for the quilts her grandmother had quilted, her mother said they were for Maggie (Dee's sister), Dee's reply was that Maggie wouldn't appreciate the quilts and Maggie, being the beautiful person she is, says her older sister can have them.

Another reason I had feelings of anger for the character Dee, was that she was uneducated. Not the usual education, such as in college, because she had that, but the education of her heritage, or past. The second statement to her mother was when her mother says "Dee", Dee replied saying her new name Wangero, followed by the statement that Dee is dead and that she could no longer bear the name of the people that oppress her. At no point during the story was Dee oppressed or even mentioned being oppressed in the past. Then she tries to track back where her name came from, to show her mother it was a slave name or something along those lines. Her mother tracked it back as far as she could remember and no such thing was pointed out. To move on to another situation where Dee made herself look foolish and uneducated is, when they are leaving, she tells her mother that she just doesn't understand.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Character of Dee in Everyday Use." 17 Aug 2018

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Character of Dee in Alice Walker's Everyday Use Essay

- The Character of Dee in Alice Walker's Everyday Use Alice Walker skillfully crafts the character of Dee Johnson in the short story "Everyday Use." From the first paragraph, Walker begins to weave the portrait of Dee, who at first seems shallow in many aspects. Dee becomes a more complex character, however, as the story unfolds. Blessed with both brains and good looks, Dee emerges as someone who is still struggling with her identity and heritage. Dee's physical beauty can be defined as one of her biggest assets....   [tags: Alice Walker Everyday Use Essays]

Research Papers
894 words (2.6 pages)

Everyday Use, A Character Analysis of Dee Essay

- Although the story "Everyday Use" is narrated from Mama's point of view, Alice Walker reveals Dee, Mama's eldest daughter, to be the central character. Dee remains essentially unchanged throughout the story. Even though Dee achieves her aim by overcoming complications such as poverty and racial discrimination, she is not admirable for her achievements and courage. Walker describes her to be selfish and self-centered, a woman who remains unchanged from her childhood to the current position after several years....   [tags: American Literature]

Research Papers
438 words (1.3 pages)

Appreciation of Ones Hertiage through the Story of Dee in Everyday Use by Alice Walker

- Alice Walker’s story, “Everyday Use,” Dee the main character says, “ I couldn’t bear it any longer after the people who oppressed me.” Dee’s words during the story demonstrate the theme, that she is becoming more appreciative of her lineage unlike in the past when she was not quite fond of it. She is back home on a visit. The moment she came down from the car, walked up to her family, she greeted “Wa-su-zo-Taen-o!” This shows that she is really putting an effort to represent her cultural background....   [tags: background, setting, character, symbol]

Research Papers
777 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on Worth in Everyday Use

- A Question of Worth in Everyday Use      From the fashionable, expensive clothing that the character Dee in Alice Walker’s "Everyday Use" wears, the girl seems almost immediately to be a person of great value and importance. It may seem, too, at first glance, that Dee’s mother and sister, Maggie, in their tin-roof house and shabby clothing, are of little or no worth in "Everyday Use." The story ironically shows, under more careful thought, that the very outer characteristics which deem Dee the more valuable character are the ones which prove that the mother and Maggie have the more powerful inner worth....   [tags: Everyday Use essays]

Research Papers
964 words (2.8 pages)

Essay Everyday Use by Alice Walker

- Everyday Use by Alice Walker Through contrasting family members and views in "Everyday Use", Alice Walker illustrates the importance of understanding our present life in relation to the traditions of our own people and culture. Using careful descriptions and attitudes, Walker demonstrates which factors contribute to the values of one's heritage and culture; she illustrates that these are represented not by the possession of objects or mere appearances, but by one's lifestyle and attitude. Throughout the story, Walker personifies the different sides of culture and heritage in the characters of Dee and the mother (the narrator)....   [tags: Alice Walker Everyday Use]

Research Papers
964 words (2.8 pages)

Everyday Use by Alice Walker Essay

- In "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker, Walker shows differences in human character, just by the way they act towards family members. The main character in the story, Mother, has two daughters that she treats very differently, and they treat her differently. One daughter looks down on Mother in a condescending manner, and the other is obedient and kind. In "Everyday Use", Walker shows that in relationships between a mother and daughters, adaptation to change can sometimes be very hard, which leads to pride and protecting what one has accomplished, and finally shows how un-appreciation can hinder these relationships....   [tags: Alice Walker Everyday Use]

Research Papers
952 words (2.7 pages)

Sigmund Freud and Everyday Use Essay

- Sigmund Freud and Everyday Use Sigmund Freud is best known for his development and use of psychoanalysis. The theory of psychoanalysis focuses on the concept of how our unconscious thoughts, feelings, and emotions play an active role in our daily lives. The id, ego, and superego are the three mental zones that encompass our psyche. Each zone has a specific function: The id functions on the pleasure principle; the ego on the protection of the individual; and the superego on protection of society....   [tags: Everyday Use essays]

Free Essays
851 words (2.4 pages)

Alice Walker's Everyday Use Essay

- In every family there seems to be a child that is bestowed with all of the positive aspects of her parents. Unfortunately, for every perfect child there is, it seems that there is one child that is less talented and less beautiful. In the short story, "Everyday Use", these two character descriptions fit perfectly in relation to the characters of Dee and Maggie. Dee is the gifted and beautiful child, whereas Maggie seems to have been left behind by the gene pool and luck. In her short story, "Everyday Use", Alice Walker utilizes language, the tragedy of the fire burning down Maggie's family's house, and her portrayal of Dee to pain an extremely sympathetic portrait of Maggie....   [tags: Everyday Use Alice Walker]

Research Papers
1207 words (3.4 pages)

Essay about Everyday Use by Alice Walker

- Everyday Use by Alice Walker “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, is a story of a black family composed of a mother and her two daughters: Maggie and Dee. Walker does an excellent job illustrating her characters. There are all types of characters in this short story from round to static. Dee is a flat character, yet Walker uses Dee’s character to warn people of what might happen if they do not live properly. Walker describes Dee’s character as arrogant and selfish, and through Dee’s character one is allowed to perceive the wicked effect of an egotistical world....   [tags: Alice Walker Everyday Use Essays]

Research Papers
712 words (2 pages)

Alice Walker's Everyday Use Essay examples

- Alice Walker's "Everyday Use" In the short story “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, the author portrays opposing ideas about one’s heritage. Through the eyes of two daughters, Dee and Maggie, who have chosen to live their lives in very different manners, the reader can choose which character to identify most with by judging what is really important in one’s life. In Dee’s case, she goes out to make all that can of herself while leaving her past behind, in comparison to Maggie, who stays back with her roots and makes the most out of the surroundings that she has been placed in....   [tags: Alice Walker Everyday Use Essays]

Research Papers
1644 words (4.7 pages)

Related Searches

When her mother asks what she doesn't understand, Dee replied, "your heritage", when the mother knows exactly where she came from and is still living that life, Dee feels she can tell her mother where she came from?

What crossed the line in my opinion of Dee was that she was completely unappreciative. I had gotten the feeling that the mother in the story had worked long and hard raising her daughters, supplied food and clothes, and even got Dee into college somehow, and Dee returns with her college education and new personality trying to preach to her mother and sister about what they are doing wrong. Numerous times she spoke down, not only to the mother, but little sister also. Then Dee begins to take their personal property, property she didn't want earlier when she had been asked.

The reason for my writing on this story and this topic is clear. While reading this piece, I had actually gotten emotionally worked up and angered by the actions of the character Dee. I call her Dee and not Wangero throughout my writings because I felt the change she made was for all the wrong reasons. You see this everyday, people claiming alliances or changing themselves into something that they are not and know nothing about. Dee came off as selfish, uneducated and unappreciative to say the least. In reality her sister and mother are aware of their heritage and know where they come from, the only questions is, when will Dee?
Return to