“Everyday Use,” written by Alice Walker, is a short story that analyzes two very diverse characters. Maggie and her mother live out their heritage in their everyday lives sewing quilts and churning butter, while Dee lives in an urban community and thinks of her heritage as an exhibit for the world to see. The two sisters, Dee and Maggie, were both raised by their mother in the same atmosphere, yet they have differing beliefs of style, family, and heritage. In the story, Dee is described as materialistic, physically flawless, and embarrassed of her ancestry. Dee likes nice, fashionable things, and being the center of attention.
Once returning home to Georgia she used her name Alice Walker not her Wangero her Ugandan given name. She states in the film that “ I was very interested in affirming that my parents had lived good and decent lives and that they had the name of their oppressor Walker “ ( Stitches ).Unlike Dee Mrs. Walker appreciates the struggle that her family had gone through to get the name Walker. Her great, great, great grandmother was born in 1795 lived for a century and a quarter greatest maternal ancestor had walked from Virginia to Georgia carrying two children received the name Walker from that journey. Ms. Walker express her dislike in the film how Dee had dismissed her name. She thought it just a disgrace to her family and their ancestors.
Housework was a very important task and women were supposed to take great joy in it. Upper and middle class girls were taught from a young age the skills they would need in order to keep a happy, healthy, peaceful home. While the outside world and working force were definitively male, the home was considered to be a feminine place. The outside world was evil and full of sin and wrongdoing, but the home was a moral haven (MacKethan). Husbands went to work in the corrupt world of industry, so they were meant to come home, decompress, and once again become attuned with their compassionate side.
Hallie is the one who went south, with her pickup truck and her crop-disease books and her heart dead set on a new world” (Kingsolver 7). Even though Codi and Hallie Noline grew up together; they both went through different childhoods which justify each character differently because Codi is more self-conscious as Hallie is more assured with their unique point of view.
Karen Robinson Mrs. Barbara Allen English 100 22 September 2013 Everyday Use In “Everyday Use”, Alice Walker creates a graphic setting that draws the reader into the feelings of two sisters Maggie and Dee who have different values for the family quilts. Dee states “Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts!” (181). One would say that Dee meant that Maggie wasn’t as smart as she was to see the true meaning of the quilts and the heritage that was behind them, but in reality Maggie appreciation for the quilts stemmed deeper than Dee could ever imagine. Maggie appreciated the quilts, because it was part of their mother Mrs. Johnson, Grandma Dee, and Big Dee. The quilts for Maggie represented all the hard work, labor, fabrics that was used,
Growing up in the same environment does not always mean that siblings will grow to be the same person with the same values and beliefs. Alice Walker's short story "Everyday Use" is about the conflict that multi-generational families have with understanding the importance of identity and ancestry. The story focuses on the relationship between a mother and her two daughters, Dee and Maggie, over their grandmothers quilts. Unlike Mama, Dee is educated and is envied, Maggie, who was scarred in a house fire when she was little. Dee has returned from a long trip away from home and now determines her culture by the things she gathers from the house like the quilts and butter churn but in the end Maggie is the one with the right idea about her heritage.
She shows resentment towards Maggie and insults her intelligence. Dee has no respect for her culture nor understands the worth of family heirlooms that Mama cherishes as “Everyday Use.” Both Dee and Maggie cherish the quilt that represents a piece of family history but only one truly values the quilt for its worth. While waiting for Dee to arrive, Mama speaks of her yard as clean and like an extended living room. This indicates she takes pride in her yard and home. Upon her arrival home for a visit, Dee informs Mama and Maggie she now goes by the name Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo.
In the story by Alice Walker, “Everyday Use", the mother, Mrs. Johnson, is telling the story of the day her daughter, Dee, came home from college to visit with her and her younger daughter, Maggie. The sisters both want a family heirloom that their grandmother made, a quilt, but both have different ideas about what the heritage means. At the beginning of the story, Mrs. Johnson explains how Maggie and her prepared for the arrival of Dee, they cleaned up the yard like it was part of their living room. She describes herself as large, uneducated, and with manly-type hands. Maggie was burned in a fire when their first house burned to the ground and Mrs. Johnson begins to thinks back about that day, she can’t help but feel that Dee had something
Esthetic Heritage vs. Culture Heritage A response to Alice Walker's “Everyday Use” “Everyday Use”, by Alice Walker, is set in the late 1960s or early 70s and tells the story of a mother and her two daughters--Maggie and Dee and their conflicting ideas about their identities and ancestry. The mother narrates the story of the day one daughter, Dee, visits from college and clashes with the other daughter, Maggie, over the possession of an heirloom quilt. Through the description of Dee's visit, the author shows how the two daughters' perspectives and appreciation of their heritage differ and how it compares to the position they hold today. Maggie thinks that culture and heritage are involved in everyday lives. Dee, from the other point of view, thinks that culture and heritage are to be valued only for their artistic appeal and to be observed from a distance.
She even stays home in order to prepare the dinner but, never the less, she thanks her family for this wonderful day with tears in her eyes. The author emphasizes that the family is conscious about the mother’s role in their life by using inversion to describe it: “how much Mother had done for us for years, and all the efforts and that sacrifice she had made for our sake”. Also he shows the importance of Mother’s Day with the help of comparison “A day just like Xmas” and epithet “such a big occasion”.