In Alice Walker's short story, Everyday Use, the line said by mama "She thinks her sister has held life always in the palm of one hand, that no' is a word the world never learned to say to her.", enters us, the readers, into the personality of Dee. Furthermore, the line offers us an open window to view the inter-workings of the family unit.
Throughout the story, Dee is portrayed as a typical, yet unique young woman. She is strong-standing, solid and firm none the less. She knows what she wants and isn't afraid to make anyone aware of it. "She would always look anyone in the eye. Hesitation was no part of her nature"; this cannot be described as uncommon for a person of her age, the boldness and outspokenness.
Dee's personality in the near-beginning of the story is depicted through a daydream that mama recalls. In this daydream, mama wishes she could have been the mother of Dees' standards alongside just the physical person of Dee. Mama's longing for Dee's acceptance is shown in the dream when she states "we are on stage and Dee is embracing me with tears in her eyes." Also, she mentions that in the dream "I am the way my daughter would want me to be: a hundred pounds lighter, my skin like an uncooked barley pancake." These statements elucidate for us that Dee's mother did not fit into her principles of manifestation and also that she did not show the affection often to her mother or sister which one could only (typically that is) expect from daughter to mother or daughter to sister. After mama finishes her daydream, she describes herself as "a big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands". She also adds, "I can kill and clean a hog a mercilessly as a man." This certainly is not the way her daughter Dee would have wanted her to be, but a mirrored opposite the least.
Towards the middle of the story we begin to see that the people of Dee's childhood had always placed her on a pedestal, thus allowed her to feel above her own family....