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Maggie Character Analysis from "Everyday Use"

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Maggie Character Analysis from "Everyday Use"

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Have you ever noticed how some people just stand out from the crowd? Like the clouds in the sky and blades of grass, people are all different. “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker has a good example of an interesting, unique character. Maggie is a young girl who is not only physically but also mentally scarred. The way the burning house, her stuck-up sister, and society affects Maggie makes her different from everyone else.

Maggie was so traumatized from her house burning down that she became a timid and under appreciated little girl. Maggie is so self conscious that her mom says she walks like a dog run over by a car: “chin on chest, eyes on ground, feet in shuffle, ever since the fire that burned the other house to the ground.” This shows that Maggie’s lack of self-confidence makes her scared to make eye contact. She thinks that if she cannot see the people around her, then they cannot see her. In addition, Maggie’s noticeable scars have an effect on the way she carries herself. According to Mama, when she was pulling Maggie out of the fire, her arms were sticking to her, “her hair was smoking, and her dress was falling off her in little black papery flakes.” This is significant because it shows how much the fire actually physically scarred her. This fact also explains why she is so afraid of people seeing her. Maggie’s evident abridgement of assurance in herself is caused mostly by the fire.

The barbaric way Maggie’s sister, Dee, presents herself has a bad effect on Maggie’s confidence. When Dee asked Mama if she can have some special quilts and Mama says no because she was going to give them to Maggie, Dee says, “Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts! She’d probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use.” Dee is making Maggie look very unappreciative of the quilts even though she wanted them for a deeper meaning: to remember her grandma. Maggie was so afraid of how Dee would react that she told her she

could have the quilts since she...