Everyday Use By Alice Walker Literary Analysis

Words: 468
Pages: 2

In Alice Walker’s short story, “Everyday Use”, each woman’s particular connection to the quilts suggest that the females are instrumental in preserving and handing down the family’s history. Each of the family members have their own definition of preservation. Despite the differences, the goal remains essentially the same. Mama knows the story behind each piece of cloth used to make the quilts. She wants the history handed down in the manner she has been passing it, through oral and visual means. Whole life times are contained in each square of the quilt; and she could recall various stories simply by looking at a specific piece of cloth. An example of that was Mama’s grandfather Jarrell. Pieces of his shirt were added to the quilt, “Bits and pieces of grandpa Jarrell’s paisley shirts.” (DiYanni 481) Great grandpa Ezra has parts of his uniform from the civil war sewn to the quilt. Mama wants her history passed on, she does not want her history to be forgotten. Maggie feels the same way as Mama about the quilts, however, she is not very vocal about her wants. Maggie is painfully shy, as a result, she did not have a problem staying in the house …show more content…
Originally, Dee did not care about the blankets. It wasn’t until she moved away to go to college and returned home to visit did she come to appreciate the quilts and thought they would be an interesting show piece. While hanging it will help preserve the quilts physically, Dee would destroy the family history since she has no knowledge of what each patch means. Her response, “Hang them.” (DiYanni 481) After Maggie asked her what she would do with the quilts. Each family has their method of preserving the quilts. Mama will add more to the quilt as time goes by and hopefully Dee will take time to learn of both the recent and past additions. Maggie will eventually use the quilts as they are intended when they are passed on to