Everyday Use By Alice Walker Summary

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The Truth about Heritage The short story “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker reflects on the heritage of a family of African Americans. The majority of the African American population has forgotten where they came from. The Webster dictionary defines heritage as “ the traditions, achievements, beliefs, etc., that are part of the history of a group or nation.” Maggie, Dee or Wangero, and their mother, who is also the narrator, are the basic characters for this short story. As the story begins, Maggie and her mother are extremely proud of who they are and where they come from. Dee, on the other hand, seems somewhat embarrassed to have the background of an African American. Maggie’s mother refers to her as “a large, big boned woman with rough, …show more content…
This form of redemption takes place as an epiphany: You realize that what can save you isn't out there, but has been nearby all along, beside you, even in you, but never noticed, never heard, or never given a second thought” (Whitsitt 43). One instance of Dee’s attitude and loss of heritage is when they are all about to eat and she notices the hand-stitched quilts, which belong to Maggie, and demands that they be given to her. The attitude she has about wanting the quilts shows that she is a selfish person, and she obviously has no respect for her sister or mother or she wouldn’t have caused such an altercation. The quilts can symbolize many different events, but the true meaning of the quilts can only be decided from the readers’ past experiences. “The story shifts abruptly to the past tense immediately after Dee declares that she has changed her name. Up until now, Mama has been caught in the tension between her annoyance with Dee and her instinctive desire to be "the way my daughter would want me to be." Yet when Dee goes so far as to disown her family identity, Mama reaches a watershed”(Tuten

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