Everyday Use By Alice Walker Point Of View

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“Everyday Use” by Alice Walker is told from the point of view of “Mama” who goes by no other name. She could be referred to as Mrs. Johnson, but the line, “Who ever knew a Johnson with a quick tongue?”(Walker, 337), leads me to believe that Johnson is her maiden name. To be a mother is who and what she is, in this story, with no especial plans for when her youngest gets married. While she would be considered the protagonist, I feel that both Maggie and Dee are as equally integral to the story, and all have their own - and share - antagonists. The short story may be told from Mama’s point of view but the plot truly revolves around all three. Each of the three main characters have at least one antagonist in common: the time period in which…show more content…
That Dee comes off as so distasteful, is mostly due to her attitude. As for the rest of her character, she was a product of her generation. She was also fortunate enough to be educated. Her mother obviously had very little, but with the help of the church, was able to send her off to school. This opened doors for her, but it was door after door after door. Behind none of which were gratitude or anything substantial, but rather, misguided and confused attempts to find her…show more content…
When she does ask, far from expecting to hear No, and is told that they’d been promised to Maggie, she gets angry. Dee had been offered a quilt before she went away to college, but declined because they were out of style. Now, it seems, she sees the value in them, and the need to preserve. What would happen to the quilts on the wall or the pieces of the churn when they went out of style? What if she never thought of anything artistic to do with the dasher? What if she moved and didn’t have an alcove with a table large enough for a centerpiece, or the room for these pieces of art? We can only imagine, because as soon as Maggie says that Dee can have them, and that she “can ‘member Grandma Dee without the quilts” (342), it’s obvious which girl deserves them. This isn’t lost on Mama, and in taking action – giving quilts to Maggie – she stands up to her own personal antagonist and in doing so, negates Maggie’s antagonistic idea that her lot in life is to lose.
If it weren’t for Dee’s entitled attitude towards her family and outward lack of respect for them, you could feel more easily that the time period was her antagonist, as well. She was not all bad, and had a very real appreciation for the benches, churn top, and quilts. As David Cowart put
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