Everyday Use Character Essay

Everyday Use Character Essay-81
How lucky Mama and Maggie must have been to be visited by someone that “God himself had shaped” in such a superior way.

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Mother, the narrator of the story, explains Dee's personality and background.

Dee apparently has been running from her poverty stricken past since she was a child.

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Everyday Use Literary Analysis Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” is a short, yet powerful story about a simple, rural family that’s changed with the return of one of the daughters.

These quilts not only embrace Mama and Maggie’s origins, but exemplify two profound pieces of fabrics that portray years of hard work and dedication in their family history.

Like the quilts, Mama's household handicrafts also portray special significance in their family’s background.When the Johnson's house burnt down, Dee just stood from afar and watched. The demolished house and Dee's nonchalant attitude represents her detachment from her family and their prized possessions (Cowart 172).Mother wanted to ask her "why don't you do a dance around the ashes? Dee physically separates herself from her family as soon as she is old enough.The story evolves around one daughter, Dee, coming back home to visit her family.As one is introduced to the characters in "Everyday Use", it becomes apparent that the two sisters, Maggie and Dee, are very different.Her name, as well, had been replaced by something just shy of being beyond the capability of their mouths.When Mama asked what happened to Dee, she explained “She’s dead, I couldn’t bear it any longer, being named after the people who oppress me” (170).Moreover, the handicrafts’ Mama contains inside her home represent symbolic meaning of heritage in their family’s struggles and experiences.For example, Dee wanted to use the churn and dasher as centerpieces and as a form of art, rather than putting them to good use.Therefore, Dee does not see the dasher or the churn as valuable items that she can use; she sees them as artifacts from a historical time that she can put use in a decorative manner.As Dee states, “’I can use the churn top as a centerpiece for the alcove table,’ she said, sliding a plate over the churn, ‘and I’ll think of something artistic to do with the dasher’” (1129).


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