Everyday Use by Alice Walker - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
In Alice Walker’s short story, “Everyday Use,” Mama finds herself in a tough position as her eldest daughter Dee wants to claim the family quilts that Mama promised to Maggie, her youngest daughter. The quilts are family heirlooms, having been made by Mama and Aunt Dicie with material from the clothes of family members who served in the Civil War. …
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER91% of users find it useful
Everyday Use by Alice Walker
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample
"Everyday Use by Alice Walker"

Mama and Maggie are epitomes of what their family stands for. Both women bear the scars of their past, they have survived in life with just the bare minimum of education, money, or material possessions, and they are strong individuals. Maggie is shy, yet she knows what it means to be part of her family. This knowledge comes to a wonderful peak when Maggie selflessly offers Dee her quilts. Mama, on the other hand, is outgoing and brash in her feelings toward her daughters. Mama never inherited money, yet she was more than content in being given heirlooms that had been passed down to her. To Mama, these items are too valuable to put a price on. Given their continuous history in her family, Mama longs to be able to pass them on to the daughter that she knows will treat them with the respect and in the purpose that they were meant for. While Mama and Maggie have a great respect for their bloodline, Dee would do anything to get as far from hers as possible. Dee does everything short of outright rejecting her heritage. When she visits her mother and sister, Dee looks down on them for the house they live in, their lack of education, and their overall simple existence. She openly displays herself as being better than her family members because of the monetarily rich and successful life that she lives. Dee has also changed her name, wanting nothing to do with the name given to her by the people that allegedly oppressed her - despite the fact that her name, as was the case with many precious things in their family - had been passed down from one woman to another. Despite not appreciating her blood, Dee believes that she is the only person in the remaining family that can properly take care of the family heirlooms. The quilts at the center of the controversy between Dee and Maggie are living history; they represent the overall family heritage. The quilts just aren’t about African-American heritage, but about embracing and loving one’s heritage. They represent everything that this family stands for and consists of. Dee wants the quilts because she would be able to display them out of respect for a heritage that she not only doesn’t understand, but has no respect for. Maggie, though, fully intends to actually use the quilts for the purpose that they were created - to be used by family, and then passed down to other members. Using them doesn’t require treating them with less respect, even though this is what Dee believes, which is why she doesn’t want her sister to inherit the quilts. When Maggie finally gives in and offers Dee the quilts, claiming that she would be able to make more, Mama realized that Maggie truly understood the meaning of the quilts. It wasn’t about them being a family heirloom or a piece of history, but that the quilts were made by the hands of the women in this family. If Maggie made more, she would only be passing on the tradition and heritage of her family. Since Maggie understood what it meant to have the quilts, more so than Dee, Mama decided that Maggie would be the most appropriate owner of these heirlooms. When it came to the quilts, Mama’s issue wasn’ Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(“Everyday Use by Alice Walker Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 words - 2”, n.d.)
Retrieved from
(Everyday Use by Alice Walker Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words - 2)
“Everyday Use by Alice Walker Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words - 2”, n.d.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document
Everyday Use by Alice Walker
Dee exhibits confidence to the point of arrogance, while Maggie has no shred of self-esteem in her. Dee also abhors their rural life, including their house, and during her younger days, desired the wealthier city life. Maggie, on the contrary, cherishes her rural life like her Mama.
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
Everyday Use by Alice Walker
Her current work under discussion came into limelight in the year 1973. The story revolves around a lady belonging to the ‘South’ and her two daughters. Based in the arena of the 60s and the 70s the story is an outcome of the emerging ‘Black’ socialist movements hat were all flared up in those years.
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
Interpret Everyday Use by Alice Walker according to guidlines
She has her own dreams and aspirations but they are suppressed to satisfy her daughter. While imagining herself on a TV show, she thinks, “I am the way my daughter would want me to be.” Thus, she resigns her likes and dislikes to suit her daughter’s choices and preferences.
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay
Everyday Use by Alice Walker
The plot and settings of the short narrative is based on the return of Dee, who is thought to be successful due to the education she has received. Her mother’s imaginary hopes are that her daughter will return home a grateful woman, for all her mother has done to ensure that she receives a good education.
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay
Everyday Use by Alice Walker Essay
Mama valued being capable and useful herself. Dee wanted to show off as part of her image as a Black American with status, power and new values. She was somehow materialistic and false. These precious items, in particular the quilts, were a metaphor for the differences in values and cultures between Dee/Wangaro on the one hand and Mama and Maggie on the other.
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
Literary Analysis on Everyday Use by Alice Walker
For others, cultural items are just that – related to culture, not life. In Everyday Use, Dee covets family items not because they are part of her life, but because they are part of her culture. Her incomplete understanding of the latter is
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay
Alice Walker Everyday Use
Judging by external appearances, it is Dee who seems to be proudly conscious of her heritage. Her dress and her hair, with its’
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
Comparison/Contrast essay-The two sisters through the mothers eye--analyzing Everyday Use by Alice Walker
Mama is very good at noticing the varying qualities between her daughters, especially the ones they are unaware of themselves. Dee is a very positive, optimistic girl - when it comes to herself. Confident and sure, she has no doubts in regard to
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
Summary of everyday use by Alice Walker
The mother has carried and adapted to the environment she was brought up in and believes that her daughters would carry the legacy. The story starts when Mama is having joyful memories about the reunion of her daughters Maggie and Dee. Her daughter Dee has been
1 Pages(250 words)Essay
Everyday Use by Alice Walker
People had to associate with the appropriate grouping or risk social ridicule. The commonly held notion was that the whites were superior to the African American community who therefore had to subordinate the
2 Pages(500 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.
Let us find you another Essay on topic Everyday Use by Alice Walker for FREE!
Contact us:
Contact Us Now
FREE Mobile Apps:
  • About StudentShare
  • Testimonials
  • FAQ
  • Blog
  • Free Essays
  • New Essays
  • Essays
  • Miscellaneous
  • The Newest Essay Topics
  • Index samples by all dates
Join us:
Contact Us