Short Overview of “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker

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In “Everyday use” written by Alice Walker, the story is mainly about two sisters and their mom role in their relationship. Dee, which is the educated sisters, traveled around the world while Maggie the simple sister stayed at home and follows the traditional ways of her family. Being the only educated person in the family Dee treated her family as someone who is beneath her which allowed Mama her mom to give the quilt to Maggie. Even though it’s should be passed down to the oldest n the family. No matter how Dee tried to distance herself from her family and their ways, she couldn’t, she even tried to change her name. But she finally learned that no matter how she wants to be in the same place as the white people in her community, home is where she’s accepted the most. The story teaches us we can never walk away from what we are born into.

The quilt in the story is the most important object that can reunite the family together which is important for the reader to understand the reason behind and it's meaning. Sarnowski describes the quilt as a generation property, it is passed down from their ancestors. And it represents the struggles their ancestors from the slavery period up until their present times “The quilt ‘represent’ herstory, history, and tradition, binding women, and men, to the past and the past to the present” (283). According to Sarnowski Mama was greatly invested in the quilt is in their family and being passed down unto the right person. Mama knew that passing the quilt unto Dee won’t have the effect she would like, which made her gave the quilt to Maggie. Dee's obsession with the outside world causes her to be isolated from her family which causes her the loss of the quilt. Dee's detachment from her life causes her to see what life has to offer. This is not a bad thing because it’s in human nature to continue evolving. Sarnowski explains that even though Dee's view makes her mom and her sister sees that she doesn’t care about where she’s from and why their ancestor’s ways are important to them. Dee did some things that urges African Americans to try to step foot outside into the world and try to make sure the world knows how much they value their ways. She’s a person that would like the world to know how proud their heritage is to them, but her family would like to keep that secret.

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Short Overview of “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker. (2020, November 26). WritingBros. Retrieved February 25, 2024, from
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