A&P and Everyday Use Comparison Essay

Words: 1689
Pages: 7

“A & P” and “Everyday Use” Analysis and Comparison

In a modern society where good deeds and integrity are taken for granted, it is necessary for people to stand up for what is right. The short story “A & P”, written by John Updike, tells the story of Sammy and how he takes a stand for what he believes is right, only he is not given the gratitude he deserved. “Everyday Use”, written by Alice Walker, is another short story that shows how substantial it is to stand firm for one’s convictions and beliefs, especially in familial matters. Mama, the protagonist in “Everyday Use”, must make the decision of protecting her self-conscious daughter Maggie, or giving in to Dee, her other egocentric daughter who has forgotten the traditional values
…show more content…
However, Maggie’s unsteady and delicate temperament prevents her from stopping her sister as Dee seeks out items of cultural value. This shows that Dee attempts to seek out her heritage without an understanding of what her heritage truly is. Maggie and Mama are able to comprehend and truly appreciate the cultural and sentimental values of the objects in their home because that is where their heritage lies, whereas Dee lives in the materialistic world, not the traditional. Dee later disapproves of how her mother and sister are ruining Maggie’s traditional wedding quilt by putting it through “everyday use” and that they are using it as nothing more than a mere commodity. This shows Dee’s misconception of heritage as a materialistic object. Dee scorns her sister because Maggie will not be able to appreciate the quilt in a sufficient way. Maggie is used to giving in to her sister and agrees to give Dee the wedding quilts, despite what the quilts has meant to Maggie. Maggie’s burned skin indicates how she has been “burned” throughout her life, and as a result Maggie is used to not having what she wants. However, Mama is able to relate more with Maggie than she can with Dee. Mama and Maggie both appreciate the true meaning of heritage and Mama surprises even herself as she stands up for Maggie and by defying Dee. Part of their heritage is for the