Resentfully, Mama thinks that Dee probably wanted to dance when the house burned. She now covets them, admiring their antiquity and the family history that she believes they represent. Cite This Page Choose citation style: Apr 27, Leslie rated it liked it In the story "Every Day Use," the author, Alice Walker, states about the relationships that occurs inside a family when one of their offspring is shipped abroad to further continue her studies.
Mama remembers the house fire that happened more than a decade ago, when she carried Maggie, badly burned, out of the house. Everyday use summary just has to have them to decorate her own place, and the narrator seems cool with it so Dee starts packing them up.
Mama gets up and tries to tell Dee more about the garments used to make the quilts, but Dee steps out of reach. As Walker presents Maggie a second time, she emphasizes her lack of self-confidence even more profoundly. The greeting is silly and somewhat awkward, however, since neither Mama nor Maggie speak these languages.
It is confusing and embittering that a memory which is so painful for Mama and Maggie could have been a source of liberation and joy for Dee. The narrator and Maggie watch them drive away; the narrator asks Maggie to bring her some tobacco. Mama goes on to describe the yard, saying it is like a living room, with the ground swept clean like a floor.
Mama, on the other hand, sees Maggie as a way of keeping up their culture. Mama says that Maggie knows how to quilt and can make more. Mournfully, Mama blames her inability to ask questions on her lack of education.
Summary Analysis Mama, an elderly black woman and the first-person narrator, begins the story by saying that she is waiting for her daughter Dee in the yard of her house, which she cleaned the day before in preparation for her visit.
The narration switches gears after this segment and a new paragraph begins with Maggie coming out and asking how she looks in her pink skirt and red blouse. Mama fantasizes about reunion scenes on television programs in which a successful daughter embraces the parents who have made her success possible.
Dee is concerned with preserving the family heritage, implying that the heritage would or should otherwise disintegrate.
When Mama points out that this will make them last longer, Dee insists that the hand-stitching is what makes them valuable. Maggie changes her clothes as Mama fantasizes about reconciling with her daughter on a television show hosted by someone like Johnny Carson.
Dee asks for the dasher as well, which she believes Uncle Buddy also whittled. The narrator has whipped up a feast so they all start to chow down.
As she emerges with the quilts, Mama immediately recognizes not just the quilts themselves, but also the way they were made and with which patterns, and where exactly the fabric came from. Mama discusses her simple clothing flannel nightgowns and overalls and her farm life.
She sets up the idea that education is part of how Dee became such an outspoken opponent to the racism she experiences. Sometimes the mother and father weep, the child wraps them in her arms and leans across the table to tell how she would not have made it without their help.
She takes in the tin roof, the windows without glass in them. For Dee, heritage must be fully removed from her current life in order to be appealing. In this section, Mama connects her lack of education with her inability to question the social conditions that structure her reality.
The handmade quilts are way cooler and Dee wants them. Still, Mama thinks, after Dee became educated, she harbored an intense resentment towards her family.
Whereas Mama is sheepish about the thought of looking a white man in the eye, Dee is more assertive. The stocky dude is equally fancy with his the Arabic greeting, "Asalamalakim," meaning peace be upon you. She especially likes the butt indentations in them.
Dee not only enjoys the food; she obsesses over it somewhat excessively. Active Themes Mama turns her back on the house, remarking on its similarity to the house that came before it— the house that burned down. On these shows, Mama says, the meeting is pleasant, warm, and loving.
The mother, the backbone in the family, is the narrator of the story, switching from third person to first person. Specifically, when Mama mentions her inability to make eye contact with white men, she connects her own internalized racism with her failure to reconcile with her daughter.
Mama suggests she take some of the other, newer quilts, but Dee refuses, saying she does not want quilts stitched by machine. Active Themes Meanwhile, Maggie comes and stands by the door.
Active Themes Unlike Dee, Mama never had an education.
Dee takes pictures of her family with their house.Everyday Use has 2, ratings and reviews. Leslie said: In the story Every Day Use, the author, Alice Walker, states about the relationships that /5. Free summary and analysis of the events in Alice Walker's Everyday Use that won't make you snore.
We promise. Dee tells her mother that Maggie couldn't possibly appreciate the quilts and would (gasp) "probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use." Dee, on the other hand, would hang them on the wall. After reading Alice Walker's short story "Everyday Use," characterize the speaker/narrator and Alice Walker’s short story “Everyday Use” is narrated by one of the story’s main characters – the mother of two highly different daughters (Dee and Maggie).
But Mama hopes that Maggie does, indeed, designate the quilts for everyday use. Dee says that the priceless quilts will be destroyed. Mama says that Maggie knows how to quilt and can make more. SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides for challenging works of literature.
Keep reading for an expert-written summary and analysis of Everyday Use by Alice Walker. Table of Contents Summary Summary Part 2 Summary Part 3 Summary Part 4 Printable PDF At the beginning of the plot of “Everyday Use” by Alice [ ].Download