Different Lifestyles In Everyday Use By Alice Walker

Improved Essays
In the short story Everyday Use, by Alice Walker, the author portrays two very different lifestyles. Through the eyes of two daughters, Maggie and Dee, who have chosen to live their lives in very different manners, the readers can choose which character to identify most with by deciding which characters values suits them best. Dee, who goes out to make a name for herself while leaving her past behind, in comparison to Maggie, who stays back with her Mama and makes the most of the surroundings that she has been placed in. Both siblings left wanting the quilts made by their late family members and their Mama, while the only deciding factor to get them is Mama. “She can have them, Mama,” she said, like somebody used to never winning anything, …show more content…
Dee, who has a new found appreciation of her culture and heritage, truly believes the best choice is her, because she will hang it up and keep it in good condition. The quilts are now to, her, these priceless artifacts, that she is worried Maggie will ruin by overusing them, and that they will eventually become rags if the quilt is given to Maggie. As, Mama said, “As if that was the only thing you could do with quilts” (231). Maggie, using the quilts is not wrong, but practical to use it for warmth and what it was made for, as well as if they were to get ruined she knows how quilt, so she could fix them, or make new ones to pass on to the other generations. Maggie is selfless as she offers to give them to her sister as she said, “She can have them, Mama” (231), even if she is trying to only gain favor from her sister, she would rather build upon her relationship with Dee then to keep the quilts she worked on with her Grandma and Aunt. However, thankfully, Mama did not let Maggie give away the quilt and gave it back to her, because Maggie definitely deserves the quilt, because of her consist kindness. Especially when there was a couple extra quilts that Dee could take, but does not want to and selfishly only wants the one she believes is the best, which really shows that if she is not willing to take the other, is she really into the quilts for the heritage of it, or is it …show more content…
Maggie finally gets what she deserves and gets to keep something that really means something to her, which she was able to work on with her family and bond over. “Maggie smiled; maybe at the sunglasses. But a real smile, not scared” (231) She is able to rejoice in the fact that Dee was not going to be able to steal the quilt away from her and that Dee also did not get her own way for once. Because she was a kind hearted person, who had the best intentions for the quilt, she was able to keep the quilt in the

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    While trying to decide, the mom finally realizes that Dee always gets what she wants and she's had enough. So the mom ends up giving Maggie the quilts, knowing that she will use them and treasure them so much more than Dee ever would of. In Everyday Use, by Alice Walker, Dee says, “Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts! She’d probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use.” (1319). Dee wasn’t even going to use the quilts, she would’ve just took them and kept them in a closet or something.…

    • 782 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    She honors the memory of her ancestors as she knows the stories behind the pieces of clothe in the quilt. Maggie 's mother values her daughter 's emotional connection to the quilt. Hence why she quickly transfers the quilt from Dee to Maggie 's arms. Maggie is stunned because she never gets the acknowledgment but now she finally has it. Her mother knows that Maggie understands the sentimental value of it and that she will use the quilt rather than display it as an artwork.…

    • 838 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Some of the pieces, like the lavender ones were from old clothes her mother handed down to her. Wangero was furious when Mama said, ‘’ I promised to give them quilts to Maggie, for when she married John Thomas. Speaking angry most likely, wangero said “Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts!” Which is not true but Wangero seemed as if she truly wanted the quilts. Mentioning to Mama that these quilts are priceless. To me She would actually treasure these quilts forever.…

    • 987 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Dee can only see her family through external objects and artifacts. During the argument between Mama and Dee, Maggie gives the ok to take the quilts and stated that she can remember her Grandma Dee, the maker of the quilts, without the quilts. Maggie being different than Dee in how they view she has viewed her life, carries the family heritage and history within herself. While Dee looks at physical history, Maggie has the learned skills of quilt making. Maggie remembers her family and the time they shared because she wasn’t focused on the outside world.…

    • 731 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    However, what her sister Dee does not make out is that in doing so Maggie would be preserving the ancestral meaning and importance of the family quilts and this is what is important. Alice Walker strengthens the cultural importance of Maggie's personality when she firmly does not allow Dee to have her way. She hugs Maggie close to her, drags her to one room. She goes on to snatch the quilts from Dee and then dumps them on Maggie's lap. This clearly shows that Maggie with support of her mother wants to uphold and preserve a lasting relationship and connection with her heritage.…

    • 853 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    While Maggie the younger of the two waits nervously for her older sister who has always made her feel not as educated and less then she. Alice Walker toward the end of the story uses a quilt made by other generations of women in their family as a symbol of and family history. Giving the idea that you can change your identity but you still have the same family. In the beginning of the story the author gives you a little background about the characters and their individuality within one family. A mother and her two daughters lived a poor life in a old house.…

    • 700 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Dee is just trying to fit in with what she thinks is right. This is shown when Mama recalls that she asked Dee if she would like a quilt when going away to college, and Dee had said no because the quilts were "outdated," yet now suddenly they mean so much to her. The story ends with Dee thinking she knows everything about her true heritage and that Mama and Maggie are very wrong. The two accept how Dee feels and let her leave because they realize the irony in the situation and know that they are the ones who truly know what heritage…

    • 819 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Alice Walker Heritage

    • 745 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Maggie learned to quilt from her grandmother who had created the quilts, and thus would be more likely to use these quilts every night and think of her family and those who made it and the memories they shared, whereas Dee would hang them up on a wall somewhere until they were no longer in style. The quilt is of nothing but material value to Wangero, as explained when she pleas, “But they’re priceless!”(320). They are simply wall decorations to her, something that could easily be bought and sold that holds no sentimental value, no relation to her culture for…

    • 745 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    They are stitched around the borders by machine” (Walker 320). She is in search of something personal; something to which she feels connected, as she references the quilts being “….pieces of dress Grandma used to wear.” (Walker 320). In the beginning of the story, Dee is presented as an individual who is embarrassed of her history, as well as her family. The changing of her name is very significant, as it shows her to have now embraced who she is, and where she comes from. The quilts give Dee the chance to reconnect with something she has always been ashamed of, and even wanted to keep hidden, her…

    • 1054 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    She politely walks up to her sister and offers her the quilts because she can remember her grandmother without the need to have the quilts. Her mother intervenes though and says that Maggie will get the quilt because Dee has lost her heritage. Maggie is to marry a poor farm hand whose appearance is left to be desired as well. She is content living on the farm even though she does envy her sisters easier…

    • 807 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays