One could believe that this emotional poverty in both stories stemmed from both their settings and heritage alike. In Walker’s “Everyday Use” there is a sort of reunion; however, this reunion was not one that was “…not a mutually pleasant occasion for family members” (Piacentino 171). Dee had not been happy about with her mother and believed she was deprived from who she really should have been because of her mother. This caused to experience heavy emotional strains from all ends of the table. Alike this same scenario occurred with Maggie just in a different context. From Maggie’s point of view as told from the story she had admired her sister. This is because Maggie is described as being “chin on chest, eyes on ground, feet in shuffle, ever since the fire that burned the other house to the ground” (Walker 487). While Dee was the beautiful one with the superficial understanding and the bad attitude. Ed Piacentino, author of "Reconciliation with Family in Alice Walker's Kindred Spirits”, stated that this coming home of Dee was a “cross-cultural confrontation” (Piacentino 171) focused on the uneventful return of Dee. In reference to the struggle of familial relationships due to emotional poverty as conveyed by Walker’s “Everyday Use” Dee was a “superior-minded child looking down on her mother’s simplicity, and in effect, the simplicity
Maggie the younger sister lived with her mother and liked the life of her living with her mother. Dee didn't like that poor old-fashioned life and she wants to be rich and to forget about this poor family and to live her actual way of life as an African-American. Mama liked their way of life and didn't want to change it and also Maggie liked it and didn't want to change it.
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.
As the story advances however, Dee does get more complex and is demonstrated to be battling with her own particular personality and heritage. Concrete subtle elements are expressed about Dee that lead you to know she is beautiful, smart and certain. Dee is described as thin with a little waste. She is a light cleaned dark individuals with a decent review hair. She is also well educated. Dee is fashion conscience, continually needing more pleasant things that were not affordable to her family. First and foremost of the story, Dee’s mother and sister, Maggie are is getting ready for Dee’s entry for a visit. Here is the place you get the first flash of Dee’s obvious identity. Maggie is portrayed by her mother as being apprehensive until after Dee goes when Dee hasn’t arrived yet. This persuades that maybe Maggie is threatened by Dee and maybe feels inferior compared to Dee. Dee’s mother discuss dreaming a fantasy about being welcomed by Dee with a grasp and tears in her eyes. All things considered Dee’s mother and sister don’t appear to feel just as they truly measures up to what Dee expects or needs them will be Dee’s mother never had much of an education and Dee’s mother raised enough cash to send Dee off to school. Maggie is specified as having poor sight and not being brilliant. Dee the again is smart.
Dee’s selfishness is also portrayed by her cultured verbal skills. Dee can talk her way through anything. Dee often manipulates others with her verbal skills. This is shown when she reads to her mother and sister “without pity; forcing words, lies, other folks’ habits, whole lives upon us, sitting trapped and ignorant underneath her voice” (Walker 289). This statement further demonstrates the fact that Dee’s family feels inferior to her. Mama describes the situation as if Dee has some kind of power over her family because she is scholarly and her family is not. Dee uses her education to make Mama and Maggie feel less important without, necessarily meaning to.
In the short story “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, the two main characters, Maggie and Dee, are sisters who are very opposite to each other. Throughout the story, the girl’s differences become evident through their physical appearances, personalities, lifestyle decisions, and the way they feel about their heritage.
While the two sisters perspectives on heritage contrast each other, Walker employs a case of dramatic irony to prove that Dee's perspective is wrong, which automatically proves that Maggie is right, considering their opposite characteristics. Dee
Alice Walker crafts the character of Dee Johnson in the short story “Everyday Use” in a clever way. Starting from the first paragraph, Walker creates an image of Dee, who at first seems very shallow. Dee then becomes a more complex character as the story progresses. Blessed with both brains and beauty, Dee emerges as someone who is still struggling with her identity and heritage.
Maggie and Dee are extremely different people, but they share some qualities like all sisters do. One similar trait is they are both from the same family and experienced some similar events in childhood. Both children had to experience the fire that burnt down their old house (49). Another example of their similarities is that they are both in a relationship with a man. Dee is with the person that may or may not be her husband Hakim-a-Barber and Maggie has the man she is courting, John Thomas. They both are going through the ups and downs of a relationship. Lastly, they both want the quilts that Mama has. Dee wants to take them back to
Alice Walker is a writer of many powerful short stories, novels, essays and poetry. She used her work to bring black women’s lives to the main focus, such as the rich and important in the US American Literature. In the short story “Everyday Use” written by Alice walker, she showed the conflicts and struggle throughout the African- American culture. “Everyday Use” addresses the dilemma with African Americans, trying to escape prejudice and poverty. The short story “Everyday Use” focuses on the encounter between a mother and her daughters. The setting of the story takes place in the driveway of the mother’s house. The mother and her youngest daughter Maggie wait for her oldest daughter Dee and her male friend to visit from school. Alice
Alice Walker used her writing to convey a message to African Americans. She used her character to show that although one might try to remove himself or herself from a race they will always be connected to it. The situation Dee is going through is generational issue for African Americans. They are always on a constant search to find their place in this world. Walker exemplifies this in
Mrs. Johnson is the living matriarch of the family in “Everyday Use”. Walker presents her character as strong, “big-boned”, with the ability to handle situations in a masculine manner stating, “I was always better at a man’s job” (Walker 8). Mrs. Johnson remembers her ancestors with a certain reverence, and she and Maggie both share similar attitudes towards their
In Alice Walker's short story "Everyday Use" Mama is the narrator. She speaks of her family of two daughters Maggie and Dee. Through the eyes of two daughters, Dee and Maggie, who have chosen to live their lives in very different manners, the reader can choose which character to identify most with by judging what is really important in one’s life. Throughout the story three themes consistently show. These themes show that the family is separated by shame, knowledge, and pride.
In “Everyday Use”, Alice Walker presents an everyday average family which involves a single mother with two daughters, one who seems to have life handed to her, and the other who is shy and lacks confidence in herself due to a family tragedy. Alice Walker gives some interesting stories behind each of her main characters: Mrs. Johnson, Dee (Wangero), Maggie, and Hakim Akbar (Asalamalakim). Among the characters in the story, Mrs. Johnson stands out because she loves her daughters equally, she accepts them both, and she overcomes her conflict with Dee.
The narrator described herself as large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands. She said she can kill and clean a hog as mercilessly as a man, and her fat keeps her hot in zero weather (444). She seemed to be a hard working woman, who differently from Dee is proud of her heritage and where she came from. It is understood she knew she may not have had the best life possible, but made the best of it. She knew Dee was the successful, popular child, but once Dee returned home with a changed name she saw her in a different light. She realized Dee’s doings were from throwing out the cultural heritage she belonged to into the new, hip black movement. She seemed to appreciate Maggie more after Dee tried to remove things from their house to show off. When Dee argued with her about giving the quilts to her instead of Maggie who was used to never winning, or having anything reserved for her the mother grabbed the quilts from Dee and handed them to Maggie. The mother is very grateful for her children, but is not going to let Dee, the daughter who has “made it”, take over the quilts meant for Maggie once she married.