September 17, 2008
â€œEveryday Use,â€ written by Alice Walker, is a short story that analyzes two very diverse characters. Maggie and her mother live out their heritage continuously in their everyday lives sewing quilts and churning butter, while Dee lives in an urban community and thinks of her heritage as a display for the world to see. The two sisters, Dee and Maggie, were both raised by their mother in the same atmosphere, yet they have differing beliefs on ideas such as style, family, and heritage.
In the story, the author describes Dee to be very materialistic, physically flawless, and ashamed of her true roots. Dee enjoys ...view middle of the document...
Clearly, Deeâ€™s familyâ€™s way of life was not fit for her so her mother sent her to school in Augusta (a much more civilized city). Maggie, on the other hand, had no intentions of leaving her mother and their pasture home in order to forget her heritage and discover new ways of life. Maggie had a close relationship with her Grandmother Dee and Big Dee, her Aunt Dicie. They taught Maggie how to quilt, and she has very fond memories with them. Dee, however, felt that being named after her Aunt Dicie and having a passed down name was slightly insignificant and constricting, so she changed her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo.
Deeâ€™s newly adopted interest in African culture shows how different she is from Maggie. Maggie, who lives and breathes culture every day, does not need physical objects to remind her of it. She values highly her beliefs and her ancestral traditions. When Dee returned to her motherâ€™s home for a visit, her views on culture had changed completely. Immediately after greeting her mother and sister, she began taking Polaroidâ€™s of the house, the pasture with cows, and Maggie and her mother. While sitting at dinner, she was fascinated by the homemade benches her father had made when the family could not afford to purchase chairs. She asked her mother if she could have the butter churn top to use as a centerpiece for her table. The most significant objects in the story, which Dee wanted to have, are the two hand sewn quilts that were created by Grandma Dee and Big Dee. These quilts are full of history. They contain pieces of...