Difference of Two Sisters in “Everyday Use”

Topics: Family, Personal life, Lifestyle Pages: 2 (710 words) Published: November 10, 2010
In the short story “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, the two main characters, Maggie and Dee, are sisters who are very opposite to each other. Throughout the story, the girl’s differences become evident through their physical appearances, personalities, lifestyle decisions, and the way they feel about their heritage.

Maggie and Dee have completely different physical appearances than each other. Maggie has a thin body figure, and her arms and legs are scarred from the house fire. Maggie is jealous of Dee’s beauty, and she seems to be ashamed of the way she looks. Mama says, “Maggie will be nervous until after her sister goes: she will stand hopelessly in corners, homely and ashamed of the burn scars down her arms and legs, eyeing her sister with a mixture of envy and awe” (Walker 279). This proves that Maggie is nervous in her sister’s presence. In contrast, Dee is much prettier than Maggie. Mama describes Dee in the story as being “lighter than Maggie, with nicer hair and a fuller figure” (Walker 280). The difference in the way Maggie and Dee look play a major role in what makes them so different from each other.

Besides their appearances, Maggie and Dee have unique personalities. Maggie has a very shy personality because of the burn scars on her body. Mama states Maggie walks around like a dog that has been run over, “chin on chest, eyes on ground, feet in shuffle” (Walker 280). Dee on the other hand, has never had a problem expressing herself. She has an outgoing personality, and always gets what she wants. According to Maggie “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” (Walker 279). This provides evidence that Dee has been put on a pedestal throughout her childhood.

According to the short story, the lifestyles of Maggie and Dee are diverse. Maggie chooses to live a content, simple, and practical way of life where she grew up. She still lives at home with...
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