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Character in "Everyday Use"

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Character in "Everyday Use"

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  • December 2005
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The short story "Everyday Use" shows a very vivid character, Dee. Dee comes across as a very selfish character. Before you even get a chance to warm up to Dee you see that she thinks she is better than her surroundings. Her mother was a very hardworking woman. Mama shows she has done the best she could to provide for her daughters. Mama is a large woman who enjoyed man's work and working with her hands. Mama stated that she had knocked a calf between the eyes and had it hanging in the meat shed before dark. Dee treats Maggie as an underling that has no capability of thought or reason. Maggie was burned badly when the family's first house burnt. When Dee returned home she informed everyone that she would be called Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo (Wangero). When Mama asked why, she said Dee is dead and that she was escaping the oppression that her name held. The story shows that Dee never encountered any oppression. Mama even stated that "no" was a word that the world had never learned to say to Dee. Dee also tried to trace her name back to show it was a slave name. When her mother traced it back as far as she could remember there were no slaves mentioned. When Dee returned home she barely made it in the door before she started asking for things. She asked for the butter churn top and dasher. Then she started asking for quilts that years earlier she had said were old fashioned and out of style. She says that Maggie will not appreciate them and would most likely put them to everyday use. Maggie then says "She can have them I can remember Grandma Dee without the quilts." Mama makes a stand after Maggie says this and informs Dee she can have two of the other quilts that these are Maggie's. Dee leaves and as she does she informs Maggie that she should make something of herself. Dee came off as selfish, unappreciative, and uneducated even though she had more formal education than Mama or Maggie. When really Maggie and Mama are aware of their...

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