Analysis Essay Everyday Use Alice Walker

Dee feels that by using the quilt as a normal item, in “everyday use”, the quilt will be ruined and the cultural importance will be lost.

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She begins asking for things around the house, like the top of a butter churn, and eventually she asks for two quilts as well.

This quilt in particular is one that Mama had promised to Maggie, and Dee’s persistence frustrates Mama and they get into an argument.

Mama and Maggie are a little taken aback by Dee's wild-looking outfit and her African greeting to them.

Dee takes photos of Mama and Maggie in front of the house, and the greetings are stiff and unfamiliar.

Because of her different mindset, she does not have the same ideals as Mama and Maggie, particularly in regard to cultural preservation and the best way to go about it.

In Mama’s mind, Maggie learning to make her own quilt is preserving the culture – in Dee’s, it is preserving the quilt itself.

As Mama continues to narrate the story the audience continues to get a sense of Dee's snobbish personality, along with moments of doubt as readers see glimpses of Mamas own short comings.

As the story concludes the audience is left with the vision of Mama and Maggie remaining alone, once again, on the front lawn; happy to be rid of Dee and the exhausting perfection as they bask in the simplicity of each other and the straight forward life that has been built.

Maggie was burned in a house fire that happened more than a decade ago, where Mama carried her out in her arms as Dee watched the house burn, but showed no emotion.

The narrator continues to paint a picture of Maggie as helpless and rather awkward, whereas Dee is beautiful and seems to have had an easier time in life.


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