Everyday Use is tale of two siblings who are the exact opposite of each other and how they view the world around them. Dee and Maggie are on the opposite ends of the spectrum, as Dee is more of an outgoing woman who fervently pursued education to get away from her humble beginnings. She wanted to be successful as her mother recalls “Dee (Wanergo) wanted nice things”, while Maggie always embraced the conventional role of woman (Walker 273).
Dee is not quite feminine like her sister as she says “I can kill and clean a hog as mercilessly as a man” (273). However, Maggie is an introvert who prefers being at home and doing household chores. Maggie, ever since her accident is not so confident, as her mom recalls “she will stand hopeless in corners, homely and ashamed” (272). Dee is also very selfish and inconsiderate about her family’s feelings, as she views her family quilt as a mere cultural artifacts and tries to take away it away from them with no remorse.
On the contrary, Maggie never tries to deny her sister any of her, although it may at the cost of her own happiness. Her mom says that Maggie “thinks her sister has held life always in the palm of one hand” (272). However, she is very saddened by her wanting to take away the quilt that she and her grandmother made with their own hands. However, Dee says “Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts”, failing to see the sentimental value of the quilt to her sister (278). Conclusion
Dee is more pretentious as she tries to put up an African persona to sound more cultured and cosmopolitan. She changes her name and her appearance to suit her new found African heritage and justifies it by saying “I couldn’t bear it any longer being named after the people who oppress me” (276). Maggie, on the other hand, is content with her life and comfortable with her African-American descent.
Page Walker, A. (1973). ”Everyday Use”. In Love and Trouble, 272-276.
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