The story “Everyday Use”, written by Alice Walker, is a story of heritage and learning what kind of person you are. In Alice Walker’s stories, they focus on personal and African-American situations back in the early 50s’. In “Everyday Use”, the story is based on background information about Dee and Maggie’s life that’s being told by their mother. Dee and Maggie have chosen to live their lives in a different way. As a result, Dee and Maggie brought a different view of the meaning of heritage through their personalities, life decisions, and relationships with other family members.
Maggie is the younger sister of Dee who her mother gave her ancestors quits to. Dee is the older sister that feels Maggie doesn’t deserve the quilt given to her. Many people show appreciation in things in different ways. Dee did not like the ways of her family and how they lived. Dee finally comes back, and shows she interested in her heritage. “She has returned to her black roots because now they are fashionable” (Christian, Barbara 44).
Before Dee came back home, Maggie and her mother thought Dee did not appreciate or agree on anything when it came to their family. Her mom plus help from the church has gotten her in school to get an education. Dee tries to belittle her family with her knowledge and appearance when she come back. She also shows disrespect to her family by changing her name to Wangero. Everyone knew Dee was all about material, her image and up to date things. Dee does not understand her life with traditions, that involves her family and ancestors. Reading the story, you can get an idea “there is the conflict of light skinned versus dark skinned” (studymode.com 03 2010), when her mother wished she could look like to her daughter.
Maggie, unlike Dee, knew how to sew, she appreciated personally and emotionally how much effort were put into the quilts. Maggie being the sweet person she is, told her sister she could have the quilts....
Cited: Christian, Barbara. “Modern Critical Views”. Alice Walker. Ed. Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House, 1989. Print.
Cowart, David. “Heritage and Deracination”. Alice Walker. “Studies of Short Fiction” avl.com. 1996..Web.
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