Essay on The Importance of Heritage in "Everyday Use"

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In “Everyday Use ” by Alice Walker the exact setting is never revealed and therefore, can only be guessed, but it has been guessed that the story takes place on a country side in Georgia. At one point in the story Augusta is mentioned. The time is also estimated to be during the Civil Rights Movement around the year of 1973. Mrs. Johnson, along with her two daughters, reside in a small three room house, and take pride in there small yard. As Maggie and Dee grow older they start to realize how important their heritage, and family heirlooms are, Maggie in particular. Maggie has made her mother promise to give her the quilts when she becomes old enough. However, Dee wants to hang the quilts up so they can be admired as if they are …show more content…
She is beautiful, confident and comes across as insensitive and arrogant. Dee argues with her mother that she wants the family quilts that had been tucked away in a chest. The ones her mother had promised to her younger sister Maggie. Dee tells her mother that Maggie is naïve enough to put their precious family heirlooms to “everyday use”, (www.enotes.com) when she knew they belonged in a special showcase for people to see. Maggie was always the quiet type who preferred to be at home. Maggie “is a figure of purity, uncorrupted by selfishness or complex emotional needs” (www.sparknotes.com) who wishes to be untouched by the outside world. The family quilts that Maggie were supposed to inherit were used as symbolism in the story. The quilts symbolize the “bonds between women of different generations and their enduring legacy”,(www.enotes.com) and “culture and heritage”. (www.suite101.com) Maggie understands the history and relationship tied into each and every quilt whereas Dee does not. Maggie and her mama think the quilts “are pieces of living history, documents in fabric that chronicle the lives of the various generations and trials”. Mama treasures these quilts because she considers them “personal history, one of her few treasures”. Maggie knows the quilts are crafts from her grandmother, and that there is no way to set a financial amount to their worth. The yard also carries symbolism. It symbolizes a private places where
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