Everyday Use

Topics: Narcissism, Culture, Selfishness Pages: 2 (724 words) Published: October 3, 2000
Everyday Use- Character Analysis

"Everyday Use" by Alice Walker, is a story of a black family composed of a mother and her two daughters: Maggie and Dee. Walker does an excellent job illustrating her characters. There are all types of characters in this short story from round to static. Dee is a flat character, yet Walker uses Dee's character to warn people of what might happen if they do not live properly. Walker describes Dee's character as arrogant and selfish, and through Dee's character one is allowed to perceive the wicked affect of an egotistical world.

Dee is portrayed as a light-skinned black person who feels as though she is better than everyone else because her waist is small, her skin is light, she has a nice grade of hair, and she is somewhat educated. Dee believes she is too good for her family, and she is in a hurry to get out of the country to a more suitable life style. She wrote to her mother saying "no matter where we ‘choose' to live, she [Dee] will manage to come see us. But she will never bring her friends"(Walker 92). It is apparent that Dee is ashamed of her family, and what they represent. However, Dee's character is allowed to slightly change throughout the story. She says she will never bring any of her friends home, yet when she arrives at the house she is accompanied by a gentleman. She also went from denying her upbringing to wanting to take a piece of it back to the city with her in order to show off where she came from. Dee tells her mother and Maggie that they do not understand their heritage, because they plan to put "priceless" heirloom quilts to "everyday use"(Walker 96). Dee does not truly value the heritage, and her interest in the quilts seem to reflect a cultural trend. This cultural trend becomes evident when the mother says, "I had offered Dee a quilt when she went away to college. Then she had told me they were old-fashioned, out of style"(Walker 96). We learned early in the story that Dee acquired a...
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