In the short story, Everyday Use, there is a family of three who survives a tragic fire that burned down their home. The mother has a beautiful daughter named Dee, and a younger daughter named Maggie. Dee moves away from the rural south when she goes to school in Augusta. She returns home with a new personality that is influenced by the Civil Rights and African Heritage movements. Dee asks for a quilt made by her grandmother, but the mother had already promised Maggie could have it. Dee argues that Maggie wouldn’t know what to do with it, but her mother just offers her a different quilt.
While analyzing the act of the mother giving Maggie her grandmother’s quilt, it is important to take the mother’s character and background into consideration. The mother is a big woman who dresses and carries herself in a manly way. She is a hard worker with a simple personality. And most significantly, she is the type of person who doesn’t pride herself in education because she doesn’t have one.
Although the mother is a tough, manly woman, she is a very caring mother. She loves both her daughters, but feels differently towards each of them. The way in which the narrator presents the two sisters suggests that she feels closer to Maggie than Dee. This special bond between the mother and Maggie is a result of Dee alienating the two of them. This relationship could also be directly related to the tragic experience they shared. The mother seems to feel a deeper connection with Maggie than with Dee when she describes the scene of the fire: “sometimes I can still hear the flames and feel Maggie’s arm sticking to me…And Dee. I see her standing off under the sweet gum tree.” Based upon the way the mother speaks of Maggie, one can also infer that she feels pity for her. The mother states, “She knows she’s not bright. Like good looks and money, quickness passed...