Everyday Use by Alice Walker

Decent Essays

Everyday Use
Heritage is what we receive from those that came before us. A person can learn about heritage through formal education; however, true heritage is passed down from generation through the stories, pictures, and other memorabilia that our parents and grandparents hold dear to their hearts. In the short story, "Everyday Use," Alice Walker teaches us lessons on true inheritance; what it is and who can receive it. Two hand stitched quilts become the center of conflict in the story. They are also used to symbolize the true inheritance.
Like a quilt, a person's world view is made up of events, circumstances and influences that shape how they see and respond to the world. "Everyday Use" is a story of two worlds in conflict. Mama, acting as the narrator, guides us through the interaction of the two very different worlds embodied in her daughters.
How can two young women from the same rich inheritance of family, history and community be so different? Although the women are by no means rich according to the standard of the world, there are no hints of want in the circumstances that shape their lives. The source of conflict arises from within Dee. Whatever her family has to offer her is never enough. Dee, the eldest daughter, has ventured from the rural world she grew up in but never felt a part of. The story is set in the context of her returning home for the first time since she left for college. Maggie the younger daughter has never left home.
Maggie's quiet backward

Get Access