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Transcript of Everyday Use
(Quilt) - Dee's mother knows that Dee wants the quilt for a decoration object instead of using it every day which the quilt was made for.
- Maggie finally calms things down - allows Dee to keep quilt
-doesn't need quilt to remember past generations
-Mother takes quilt from Dee and gives it to Maggie
- Dee leaves in anger- saying she doesn't understand her own heritage
- Her last words to Maggie and her mother were to stop "living in the past" and that it’s a new day for black Americans In the short story, "Everyday Use", Alice Walker is suggesting that one is bound to loosing the appreciation for their heritage when introduced to new cultures. Character and symbolism is used to make the reader aware of how different enviroments impact the views of one's own background. "Everyday Use"
By Alice Walker Proof: "Maggie can't appreciate these quilts!... She'd probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use." The story Everyday Use is:
- in a south African mother's perspective=1st person; who has two daughters: Maggie(mentally inferior to older sister) and Dee(educated and open-minded)
- Dee was sent off to college
- Dee changes her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo
-Dee comes to visit her sister and mother
-her appearance and attitude are changed=lived in a city
-Sees culture and heritage differently
-Dee brings man with her=Hakim-a-Barber
-Dee wants to keep items that have been made by family members for décor
-churn top, quilt
- The mom wants to give the quilt to Maggie instead, but Dee argues that her younger sister will not be able to "appreciate" the quilt-because she is backward. Analysis:
believes quilt is to be decorated instead of used daily
quilt=pieces of living history
quilts=testament to a family’s history of pride and struggle
Maggie does not need quilt to remember past/generations Symbolism
(Butter Churn) Proof
"This churn top is what I need, ... 'I can use the chute top as a centerpiece for the alcove table,' she said, sliding a plate over the chute, 'and I'll think of something artistic to do with the dasher.'".
butter churn to Dee=object of art
to mother=way to live and make butter Symbolism
(Burnt House) Proof "She watched the last dingy gray board of the house fall in toward the red-hot brick chimney. Why don’t you do a dance around the ashes?...She hated that house that much.” Analysis thought past is destroyed
excited because educated-starts "rejecting"
wants to be "different" “Dee wanted nice things. A yellow organdy dress to wear to her graduation from high school; black pumps to match a green suit she’d made from an old suit somebody gave me…At sixteen she had a style of her own: and knew what style was.” Character
"She can have them, Mama,'' she said, like somebody used to never winning anything, or having anything reserved for her. " I can remember Grandma Dee without the quilts.'' Analysis
This line from the story describes how Maggie has a very giving, and selfless personality. And has a very benevolent attitude towards everything. Character(Maggie) Proof
“I didn't want to bring up how I had offered Dee (Wangero) a quilt when she went away to college. Then she had told they were old~fashioned, out of style.’But they're priceless!’ she was saying now, furiously; for she has a temper. ‘Maggie would put them on the bed and in five years they'd be in rags. Less than that!’ ‘She can always make some more,’ I said. ‘Maggie knows how to quilt.’ ". Analysis
Dee thinks her sister Maggie takes things for granted and does not appreciate them, whereas the Maggie knows how to quilt which shows that she can add on her "part" on the quilt if it gets worn because she knows how to quilt.
Dee does not know the value of the quilt due to loss of appreciation for heritage. Character(Dee) Proof
"’Not 'Dee,' Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo!’...’You know as well as me you was named after your aunt Dicie’…‘But who was she named after?’ asked Wangero. ‘I guess after Grandma Dee,’ I said. ‘And who was she named after?’ asked Wangero. ‘Her mother,’ I said, and saw Wangero was getting tired. ‘That's about as far back as I can trace it,’ I said. Though, in fact, I probably could have carried it back beyond the Civil War through the branches. Analysis
shows Dee doesn't know the value of her name-heritage
not appreciating culture Types Of Conflicts in the story Maggie (person vs. self):
Cannot figure herself out. Cannot decide on how she feels.
Mama (person vs. person):
Is fighting with both her daughters to help their relationship as sisters
Dee (person vs. society) :
Is constantly struggling to keep up with the latest trends About The Charecters Maggie •shy young girl
•her entire life being intimidated by her older sister
•mother describes her as dull and unattractive
•however, she is innocent an humble
•leads a traditional life
•lives in a small house, without any complaints
•sees heritage as memories of past people in her life and how they influenced her Mama •a middle-aged African-American woman
•described as overweight and body of a man
•very religious and goes to the church regularly.
•appreciative of everything she = thankful for her heritage
•she is attached to her belongings, but not too attached to let them go to her daughter Dee •Bold and confident
•Educated, unlike mom and sister
•Highly influenced by her peers
•Believes her poor family should “forget” past(heritage) and stop living in it
•Willing to embrace culture but acquire family heirlooms as décor to show off