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Transcript of Everyday Use
She tells Dee she can have the quilts because she didn't need them, even though she wanted them.
Maggie is "better off" than Dee because she is content with her current situation.
"She can have them, Mama," she said, like somebody used to never winning anything, or having anything reserved for her. "I can 'member Grandma Dee without the quilts."
1. What is the significance of the title in relation to the central conflict of the story?
The title "Everyday Use" refers to the mom actually putting to use the items that dee believes to have value because of where they came from.
"Maggie can't appreciate these quilts!" she said. "She'd probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use."
2. How does Maggie deal with Dee's demand for the quilts? Are there any ways that Maggie is "better off" than Dee?
How does Dee's sense of heritage differ from her mother and Maggie? Is there anything ironic about Dee's accusations that her mother and Maggie don't understand their heritage. What are the personal consequences of her efforts to stake her claim to a piece of heritage?
Dee's heritage revolved around her possessions. Maggie and mom didn't have a scene of heritage, they were living it.
Its ironic because Dee is the one that didn't understand it.
when she tried to take some of her moms "heritage" the mom felt like she was being used. by trying to take the some of their possessions, she further removed herself from her family.
5. Analyze the narrator's personality and her feelings about her daughter Dee. In what sense is this the mothers story?
The narrator is happy for her Daughter Dee, But is annoyed at her because she is trying to make it seem that she isn't from the same plain of existence.
This story is also the mothers story because it only explains how she feels and not how Dee Feels.
By Alice Walker
In love and Trouble: Stories of Black Woman
6. In the end, with which characters does Alice Walker seem to side with on the issue of heritage?
Alice Walker seems to side with Mrs. Johnson and Maggie because she thinks that you understand your heritage more if you live it rather than showing old items from your past family.
3. Positives and negatives of Dee's character. Is there anything implied about Dee in the passage describing the loss of their previous home?
positives - college, intelligent, left the country life, artistic
negatives - self centered, inconsiderate, rude.
She wasn't sad about the old house.
"Why don't you do a dance around the ashes? I'd wanted to ask her. She had hated the house that much."
Walker, Alice. "Everyday use." In Love and Trouble: Stories of Black Women. Orlando, Fl: Harcourt Inc., 1973. Page 47-59.
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