Mama's Themes In Everyday Use By Alice Walker

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In the short story,” Everyday Use,” Alice Walker depicts the simple farm life in southern Georgia. Mama, the narrator of the story lives a much simpler life than her eldest daughter, Dee. The two battle throughout most of the short story judging each other on their lifestyles. Throughout their reunion Mama and Dee argue over their own agendas and because of their different upbringings they tend to bump heads on what’s truly important. Throughout this short story you begin to understand that different points of view are what makes this story so interesting. Mama, who is the main character of ”Everyday Use,” is described as a large and big boned woman capable of doing the work of men. Telling this story in the first person, Mama using a bossy …show more content…
Dee believes they will be a suitable art piece in her apartment that she can show off to her friends under the assumption that she was a part of this major historical struggle. Mama declines and states that the importance of these quilts has nothing to do with the oppression of their people but it’s family value. Mama wants the quilts to go to Maggie who understands the value of family tradition. Dee objects because her education has put value on these quilts, not family value but monetary. The most important line in this story is where Dee tells Mama that “Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts!” she said. “She’d probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use.” (Walker 195) It’s at this point in the story where both perspectives are clear. With Mama we have a hard working individual who made something from nothing and then we have Dee who has been blinded by her education and values only the idea of heritage but not its actual tradition. Here Dee tells Mama that she doesn’t understand her own heritage, referring to her lack of education, and even extends her insults to her sister Maggie where as stated before she should “make something of herself.

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