Day and Night through a Mother's Eyes Essay

Decent Essays
In Alice Walker's "Everyday Use" the reader is introduced to three main characters, a mother and her two daughters. The first daughter, Maggie, still lives at home with her mother and is her companion. Dee, however, moves on with life and goes out to make something of herself in the world. The story is an account of one of Dee's visits, but the narrator, the mother, makes a very obvious comparison between Dee and Maggie's looks, intelligence, behaviorism, and values. The reader has a lesson to learn since the story is told through the mother's eyes. It is amazing that two siblings can grow up in the same environment and turned out so differently. Dee and Maggie are like day and night, each with her own strengths and weaknesses.…show more content…
Although she is jealous of her sister, Maggie more admires her than anything. It is, however, upsetting that the narrator never suggests Dee has any admiration or respect for Maggie or herself, for that matter. The story never even suggests that Dee feels sorry for Maggie, instead it can be interpreted that Dee just looks down on her sister, as she does the rest of her family.

The reader can also learn about the girls from how they treat others. Just like everything else, they are opposites. Dee "would always look anyone in the eye. Hesitation was no part of her nature"(92) while Maggie walks "chin on chest, eyes on ground, feet in shuffle"(94). Mama also knows that while her sister is there Maggie will be nervous and "stand hopelessly in corners, homely and ashamed of the burns scars down her arms and legs"(92). While Maggie has always felt inferior, Dee seems haughty and kind of has a superiority complex. Dee is also implied to be manipulative. Dee would read to her mother and Maggie knowing it was literature beyond their comprehension just so she could show off. "She used to read to us without pit; forcing words, lies, other folks' habits, whole lives upon us two. She washed us in a river of make-believe, burned us with a lot of knowledge we didn't necessarily need to know"(94). The phrase "She read to them" is repeated when talking about Dee around her friends and boys that wanted to date her (95). However, in this context, it is hardly
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