Kelsey Austin English 104
Dee the Very Self Confident Woman.
In Alice Walkers “Every Day Use”
In “Every Day Use” Walker introduces us to a family with a variety of different characters. Among the characters is Mrs. Johnson, her two daughters Maggie and Dee and two men who will marry her daughters; John Thomas and Asalamalakim. We see that Mrs. Johnson has many “man like” qualities’ and takes on many male jobs. She seems very excited but nervous upon the arrival of her daughter he is returning home after years of being away at school and several other places. Walker goes on to explain that Dee seems to be a well envied woman in her family, her sense of humor, style, education and desire for family air ...view middle of the document...
She then proceeds to greet her mother and sister, clearly this is an action that should have been done immediately upon arrival. Mrs. Johnson proceeds to have a discussion with Dee when she is stopped and told that “Dee is dead” and that she now goes by the name “ Wangero Leeewanika Kemanjo” and then proceeds to carry out a conversation with Asalamalakim her assumed husband(9), completely dismissing her mother’s feelings about the name change which could be taken as a slap in the face.
There are many other outstanding aspects that shows Dees selfish, self-centered attitude, such as the conversation that is held during dinner when Dee expressed her want for a piece of a butter churn that was made by her uncle Buddy. She proceeds to say that these pieces of the butter churn will be made into center pieces. She then rummages through a trunk and pulls out two quilts that were made by members of her family that have never been used, she almost then begins to beg her mother to take them and use them as wall murals; Mrs. Johnson says that those quilts are being saved for her sister when she and john Thomas marry. Dee is furious and attempts to manipulate her mother to change her mind by telling her mother that Maggie will turn them into rags within years because she will put them to everyday use. This comment infuriates Mrs. Johnson and she back fires fore she can clearly see Dees carless attitude shining through; Mrs. Johnson grabs the quilts from Dee and states clearly “Take one or two of the others” (12) these are for Maggie. Dee becomes mad and leaves her mother’s home. Upon leaving Dee tells Maggie to makes something of herself and then states to the both of them that todays a new day for them stop living in the past. Dees Return home shows that she has a love for her families air looms and wants to use past elements of her family to incorporate into her new life. But when Dee was given an answer she did not like you really got to see her self- centered stand offish side.