Alice Walker's Everyday Use: Heritage

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Heather Skinner-Lucas English 1302.09 Mrs. Heinzelman 24 April 2012 Being Educated does not imply one knows his/her Heritage “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker that was published in the collection In Love and Trouble in the year 1973. The narrator of the short story is "Mama"; Mama is an African American young woman who lives with one of her daughters within the Deep South. Everyday Use humorously shows the distinctions between Maggie, her introverted younger daughter Maggie and Dee, her educated daughter. Dee returns from college after a long time away; there is a disagreement between Mama, Dee and Maggie over heirloom family belongings. Dee prefers to be referred to as Wangero and ridicules her present ancestry for a pretentious "native African" personality (Walker, 445). As Plato (427 BC-347 BC) said, ‘Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say…show more content…
This narrative is full of symbolism. The quilts in everyday day use are the main symbols, and they represent the connection of heritage and the family. Dee just wants the quilts to hang them; she says that Maggie, her sister cannot comprehend her heritage and she is not capable of appreciating these quilts, although she does that when she memorizes her Grandma Dee having the quilts. Thoughtfully, Maggie decides to give Dee the quilts so as not to initiate a conflict. Maggie is appreciates her heritage whenever she uses the quilts, with heritage she means the natives she came from. Furthermore, Dee believes that getting connected with a person's ancestry is a new thing. The quilts were made by hand by their Aunt the one Dee was named after. Additionally, Dee believes that her name represents the people that oppressed her; she consequently comes up with a brand new name which does not represent her family ties (Gruesser,
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