everyday use Essay

Submitted By Jessicacc2011
Words: 1123
Pages: 5

Sibling fight

The quilt is the center of the problem In Everyday Use By: Alice Walker

Everyone who has siblings eventually ends up fighting over things with them. In Everyday Use, Dee finds herself lost in her family culture. On other hand, Maggie, Dee’s sister, embraces her culture. Cultural traditions are passed down from parents’ generations to children’s. In Everyday Use, Mama gives the tradition of the quilts to her daughters. The quilt is used as a symbol of heritage and at the same time as a blanket for warmth. Dee struggles to accept her culture and history while Maggie embraces them, and the blanket is the symbol of the struggle.

Mama, Dee and Maggie, are described thought mama eyes. Mama describe herself as being “A large, big-boned woman with rough, man working hands in the winter I wear flannel nigh gowns to bed and overalls.’’(2367), but at the same time she is not an educated person which she said “I never had an education myself after second grade the school was closed down.” (pg2368). Dee is the only person in the family, who ends up having an education, and she it’s describe as a, “Lighter than Maggie, with nicer hair and fuller figure.” (pg2367) even though she is pretty she has the opportunity to get an education base on the effort of her mom and the community, “we raised the money, the church and me, to send her to Augusta to school.”(pg2368) Maggie being the shy person she is also humble, mama describe her as, “A dog run over by some careless person rich enough to own a car sidle up to someone who is ignorant enough to be kind to him? That is the way Maggie walks, chin on chest eyes on the ground, feet in the shuffle.” (Walker).

Mama, who it’s a good mother to her kids, tries to be fair to both of them. She ends up having to deal more with Dee which is only one that ends up going to college. Maggie, on the other hand is more understanding of Mamas’ way of life, and she just wants to leave the same simple life of Mama. Dee in the other hand she wants more out of life but struggles to accept where she comes from, and in understanding her family history, and the way of life. She has a conflict in accepting where she came from because of her change of name. She rejects Dee and end up calling her self Wangero. Wangero being an African name and knowing she had never being to Africa. Mama ask “what happened to Dee?” simply Wangero respond that “She’s dead” and “I couldn’t bear it any longer, being named after the people who oppress me” (2370) this was slap on the face toward her Mom and Maggi, Mom felt that Wangero is a strange name other than Dee was family related, “Dicie is my sister. She named Dee. We called her “Big Dee” After Dee was born.” (2370) Mom was explaining Wangero that her name came from her ancestors as far as Mama can remember. Wangero didn’t want to accept it and ends up changing her name. Maggie in other hand takes her culture through Mama which she ends up learning from her. Maggie ends up learning how to quilt and the meaning of what the quilt represents that mama has. Wangero is not interest in learning about her culture. She has struggle taking her heritage and her mom custom instead she wanted nice things. “A yellow organdy dress o wear to her graduation from high school; black pumps to match a green suit she’d made” (2368).

The quilts, which it’s used every day as a blanket of warm has a lot of meaning to mama, and Maggie. Thought Wangero eyes they are priceless quilts. Mama said that the quilts “had been pieced together by Grandma Dee and Big Dee and me had hung them on the quilt frames on the front porch and quilted them” (walker). This quilt has some history background into their family culture and where they came from, “scraps of dresses Grandma Dee had worn fifty and more years ago. Bits and pieces of Grandpa Jarrell’s Paisley shirts, and blue piece of a penny matchbox from Great Grandpa Ezra Uniform that he wore in the