Heritage In 'Everyday Use' By Alice Walker

1261 Words6 Pages
Heritage is an important part of everyone’s life. My family and I follow some of the traditions that have been passed down from generations to generations. For example, we cook things a certain way simply because that was the way grandma cooked it. Furthermore, people tend to hold their tradition and heritage over anything else. They feel it is necessary for them to continue their customs and will not do anything differently. In the short story "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker, two sisters portray their contrasting family views on what they perceive to be heritage. The idea that a quilt is a part of a family's history is what the narrator is trying to point out. They are not just parts of cloth put together to make a blanket. The quilt represents…show more content…
I believe the author’s point of this story was to make the readers value their culture and traditions of their family and to understand how meaningful it is. In the beginning of the story, we are introduced to the older sister, Dee. "Dress down to the ground, in the hot weather. A dress so loud it hurts my eyes… Earrings gold, two, and hanging down to her shoulders. Bracelets dangling and making noises when she moves her arm… The dress is loose and flows, and as she walks closure, I like it. I hear Maggie go "Uhnnnh" (Walker 2439). She shows a very selfish characteristic and that trait is repeatedly brought out in the story. For instance, she begins to ask for things in the house like the chair and desk. Another instance is when she asks her mother for the quilts her grandmother had made, her mother said they were for Maggie; Dee's reply was, “Maggie wouldn't appreciate the quilts” and Maggie says, “Dee can have them” (Walker 2441). Furthermore, all of the things Dee ask for she wants to use them for decoration and not for everyday use. Dee also was not educated about her heritage. For instance, her mother called her “Dee” and in return she replied saying her new name was Wangero, followed by the statement, “Dee is dead and I can no longer bear the name of the people that oppress me” (Walker 2440). I believe there was no time during the story that she was oppressed or even mentioned…show more content…
I remember all the times that I would visit my Aunt Renee. She always had a sewing task in the process and I would always ask her if I could help her. She would let me do little things like sew a square or roll up the yarn. Finally, when I was old enough she taught me how to sew. I practiced and practiced every time I came to her house. Each visit I would learn something new. One day I came in and she was working at the kitchen table, there were a billion little pieces of fabric scattered all over the table. I asked her what she was making that day and she told me a quilt. I had never seen her sew a quilt before I was amazed. She was making it for an auction to raise money. She had collected several different patterns of fabric, some from her old collection and some new collection. When she finished I described it as masterpiece because it looked so good. Furthermore, for weeks I begged her to teach me how to make a quilt of my own. She finally gave in and decided to help me. She first had me choose a color that I primarily wanted the quilt to be and then we went to the store and shopped for hours trying to choose the perfect patterns. She also let me pick some of her great grandmother's fabric that she had had for many years. When we finished that we sat down and she helped me stitch by stitch to make my quilt. It took several months to finish but when we finally completed the quilt, I was very proud

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