Everyday Use Essay

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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, and love that went into the making of the quilts. Maggie herself was taught by their mother Mrs. Johnson the art of quilting, and that Maggie shared in the making of some of the quilts. The quilts that Dee wanted to take home with her, was the quilts that their mother Mrs. Johnson had promised to Maggie the day that Maggie and James Thomas gets married. It was the sentimental values that went into the quilts that Maggie appreciated. Dee, on the other hand appreciated the quilts because in her mind, the quilts represented a link to her African roots, which Dee was trying to embrace after her change of faith to Muslim. Dee wanted these quilts to use as showcase items in her home, something that she could tell her guest that it is part of her African heritage, the part of her that she is in touch with. Learning the art of quilting and the stories behind the pieces of fabrics that are sewn in the quilts are truly a sentimental experience for young and old. Work Cited Walker, Alice. ”Everyday Use”. Mercury Reader. Eds. Darren Felty, Richard Hartnett, and Roger West. New York: Pearson learning solutions, 2011. 174-182.

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