Dee, from Walker’s “Everyday Use,” is Mama’s older daughter who not only has a judgmental, insensitive attitude towards Mama and her younger sister Maggie, but also believes she appreciates her family heritage more than Mama does, when in fact, Dee is the one who is “uneducated” and lacks an understanding about what her heritage truly is.
In “everyday Use,” Alice Walker tells a narrative of a mother’s frustrating relationship together with her two daughters. At this facet, “,Everyday Use”, tells that how a mom little by little refuses the cursory values of her older, successful daughter at the aspect of the useful values of her younger, much less lucky daughter. On a deeper outlook, Alice Walker takes on the theme of heritage and its norms as it applies to African-Americans.
The way the burning house, her stuck-up sister, and society influenced Maggie make her unique in relation to others. Maggie was so damaged from her home burning down that she turned into a meek and undervalued young lady. Maggie is so unsure that her mother says she walks like a dog run over by a car: “chin on chest eyes on ground, feet in shuffle, ever since the fire that burned the other house on the ground.” This demonstrates that Maggie absence of self-confidence make her frightened to look. She imagines that on the off chance that she can’t see the individuals around her, then they can’t see her. What’s more, Maggie’s discernible scars have impacted on the way she conducts herself. As indicated by Mama, when she was pulling Maggie out of the fire, her arms were adhering, “her hair was smoking, and her dress was tumbling off her in minimal dark papery pieces.” This is huge light of the fact that indicates how much the flame really physically scarred her. This additionally clarifies why she is so apprehensive about individuals seeing her. Maggie’s apparent compressed version of confirmation in herself is created basically by the fire. The barbaric way Maggie’s sister, Dee, presents herself awful impact on Maggie’s certainly. At this point when Dee inquired as to whether she can have some unique quilts and Mama says no on the grounds that she
Momma's point of view defines how she feels about her daughters and the degrees of separation that exist between the two girls. Momma describes Maggie as a partially educated child who does not look as appealing as her older sister. Maggie was burned in a house fire that left her scared all over her body. She does not wear revealing clothes, nor does she attract men as Dee does. Dee, on the other hand, is described as an educated young woman who is ready to take on any and every adventure. Momma says that Dee used to read to her and Maggie without pity (94). She describes Dee as the stylish child; she always prepared dresses out of momma's old suits and is always up on the current style. Momma likes the different qualities Dee possesses, but she is slightly threatened because they are unfamiliar to her. From the description that momma gives of her daughters the reader can feel the differences that exist in her thoughts about her daughters.
Dee?s character in the story is a direct relation to any number of people in society that do not know or are confused about their heritage. She is struggling to create an identity for herself, and is confused as to what it encompasses. She grasps at African tradition and culture, yet fails to acknowledge her own African American culture. This happened all over America, particularly in the North, in the 1960?s, following the civil rights movement. Dee is misconstruing her heritage as material goods, as opposed to her ancestor?s habits and way of life. This may be due in part to her leaving her hometown and becoming an educated, sophisticated young woman. Dee?s direct heritage is that of African Americans.
Maggie and Dee have completely different physical appearances than each other. Maggie has a thin body figure, and her arms and legs are scarred from the house fire. Maggie is jealous of Dee’s beauty, and she seems to be ashamed of the way she looks. Mama says, “Maggie will be nervous until after her sister goes: she will stand hopelessly in corners, homely and ashamed of the burn scars down her arms and legs, eyeing her
In the story, she introduces two sisters with almost opposite personalities and different views on heritage: Maggie and Dee. She uses the contrast between the two sisters to show how one should accept and preserve one's heritage. Beyond the contrast between two sisters there exist the judge figure mom, the narrator and the Dee's irony. The irony on Dee's opinion is the key to understand the story and why the mother let Maggie keep the quilts, which symbolize the heritage.
Dee is a flat character, who is described as arrogant and selfish. Through the eyes of Dee, one can see her egotistical nature. Dee is portrayed as a light-skinned black person who feels as though she is better than everyone else because her waist is small, her skin is light, she has a nice grade of hair, and she is somewhat educated. Although she may be
The examination of black women's need to keep their powerful heritage and identity is important to the protagonist in “Everyday Use.” Walker uses the mother’s voice to show the trials and tribulations of a small African American family located in the South. She speaks on multiple levels, voicing the necessity and strength of being true to one's roots and past; that heritage is not just something to talk about, but to live and enjoy in order for someone to fully understand themselves. Unlike Kincaid, Walker gives her black female character’s an identity of their own, each in their own right, and observes the internal conflicts of each mother and daughters struggle with identity. The mother represents a simple content way of life where identity and heritage are valued for both its usefulness, as well as its personal significance. In order to illustrate how the mother viewed identity versus her daughters, Walker quickly acknowledges that the mother has inherited many customs and traditions from her ancestors. She describes herself as a large big-boned woman with rough man-working hands (485). She also describes here various abilities including, killing and cleaning a hog as mercilessly as a man. Being able to work hard and not care about being such a lady, is how the mother defines identity at this point. On the other hand, the two daughters each have opposing views on the value and worth of the different items
Maggie is illustrated as Dee’s foil. Dee is everything that Maggie cannot be externally. Maggie is implemented into the story to provide a greater emphasis on
The African heritage plays a major role in the story, “Everyday Use”. Alice Walker emphasizes the meaning of heritage by having Dee come visit her family and contradicting her heritage. As Dee go off to college, she meets new people and finds her a boyfriend, Asalamalakim. Alice Walker adds attention onto Dee’s new name, Wangero, because Dee changes her name, not understanding the true root of her original name. “No, mama,’ she says. ‘Not Dee, Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo!’ ‘What happened to ‘Dee’?’ I wanted to know. ‘She’s dead…” (160). However, Dee truly believes that her heritage lies way back to Africa. The African clothes and name gives an understanding that Dee thinks that she is from Africa and that is where her heritage originally lies. In addition, Mama and Dee have different point of views on what heritage truly is. Mama tells Wangero (Dee) that her name comes from a line of ancestors, yet Wangero believes that her new name has more roots in it. “You know as well as me you were named after your aunt Dicie,’ I said. Dicie is my sister. She named Dee. We
Although Dee does not want any dealings with her African American background, she still wants the sentimental items that come with it. This entire situation is very ironic seeing that she degraded her family’s heritage earlier in the story. Cowart viewed this situation as “hopelessly selfish and misguided.” The irony in the situation is that she did everything she could not to be connected to the family, yet she still wants items that are family heirlooms. Walker proves that no matter how hard one try to disconnect from a family; it will always be there in some shape.
The beginning of the story involved a lot of characterizing on the youngest sister Maggie. Before her older sister Dee arrived at the house, her actions showed that she was scared to see her sister. “Maggie will be nervous until after her sister goes: she will stand hopelessly in corners, homely and ashamed of the burn scars down her arms and legs, eying her sister with a mixture of envy and awe. She thinks her sister has held life always in the palm of one hand, that "no" is a word the world never learned to say to her” said the mother.
To clarify, Walker’s narrative focuses on two classes of people: one lower and one higher. In general, Mama and Maggie represent a class that only appreciates practicality, whereas Dee and Hakim-a-barber represent a class that places more value on artistic interest. For example, when Mama asks Dee why she would rather be called Wangero, she explains that “[she] couldn 't bear it any longer, being named after the people who oppress [her]," (Walker). In effect, Dee’s new and dramatically different name exemplifies how serious she is about defining her identity with her new culture as opposed to remaining in the same culture as her Mama. In other words, Dee has taken the sole purpose of having a name, identity, and added a symbolism to it of her defiance. In another instance, when Dee sees her family’s butter churn, her
Pride is the theme that seems to separate this family the most. It's having pride versus not having it. Maggie doesn't have it. She does not speak for herself when Dee wants the quilts. She lets mama speak for her. Like a scalded dog, she hides behind Mama when Dee arrives. Mama compares Maggie to a "Lame animal…run over by a car…"(Walker 88). Pride mostly comes from respect and she doesn't get much. Dee maybe has too much pride. This probably comes from "the world not knowing how to say no to her." She has looks and she's what one would describe as