A New Day For Maggie And Mama Essay

810 Words Nov 12th, 2015 4 Pages
A New Day for Maggie and Mama
In “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, there is a sense of tradition that permeates the story. The author describes Mama, an uneducated, widow, with “man-working hands” (Walker 394) who, with the help of her church, was able to raise funds to send her daughter Dee to college. Towards the conclusion of the story, Dee tells her little sister Maggie, “It’s really a new day for us. But from the way you and Mama live you’d never know it” (401). Dee obviously has been exposed to plenty of modern ideas about her culture since attending college in 1973. While she loves her family, she now views their simple way of living and attitudes about keeping family heirlooms for everyday use as a lack of understanding of their heritage. The family quilts that Dee once thought of as old-fashioned and out of style, she now sees as priceless pieces of art that should be displayed for other to admire as valuable symbols of their past. When Dee comes back home to visit with her new companion, WasuzoTeano, she announces she changed her name from Dee to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo. She tells her family, “I couldn’t bear it any longer, being named after people who oppress me.” (397). Mama reminds Dee that she is named after her aunt Dicie. Dee was apparently a family name that was passed down through several generations, and not the name of some oppressor as Dee implies. The name change is another symbol of Dee’s modern view of her heritage and a rejection of old ways.…

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