Everyday Use

Topics: Family, Sibling, Birth order Pages: 3 (917 words) Published: December 5, 2011
In the book ‘Everyday Use’, jealousy is depicted in several ways. It is a fact that favoring one child among many brings about sibling rivalry. In effect jealousy springs out and can lead to several things. In ‘Everyday Use’, Maggie, a younger sister to Dee, is jealous of her elder sister. Dee is more attractive and more stylish. ‘Maggie looks at her sister with a mixture of envy and awe’(Walker 1006). This is because she suffers from wounds obtained as a result of an inferno earlier in life.

The main theme in this story concerns the characters' associations to their ancestral heredity. Dee Johnson does believe that by affirming her African birthright through change of her name, her facade and her mannerism, though her relations have lived in the US for a number of generations, she cannot deny her African heritage.

Dee receives western education, unlike her younger sister and mother. Maggie believes that Dee always gets everything Dee wants. Dee seldom gets no for a reply thus making her a very providential individual. Hakim A Barber, the only male character in their lives, is at Dee’s beck and call. He is ordered around by Dee, and this is another factor that makes Maggie jealous of her sister.

On another scene, ungratefulness is displayed by Dee. Dee was born in an African family. She was afforded better opportunities in life than her younger sister Maggie. Earlier in life, their family house gets burnt down. Dee’s younger sister Maggie is trapped in the inferno and ends up seriously scarred. Maggie has down her arms and legs, and we are told that Dee is least affected by this scenario. She is very indifferent about the role her mother and sister Maggie play in her life.

Dee is named after an aunt by her mother. In the African culture, it is a great honour to be named after a significant person. Dee’s mother explains this to her, but she brushes off her mother probably because of her mother’s limited education. Dee changes her name to an African name....
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