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Published: 22-11-2019

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“Everyday Use” by Alice Walker

“Everyday Use”, a brief story written by Alice Walker, is told in the point of view of Mama. Mama is described as “a massive-boned woman with rough, man-working hands”. The story begins with Mama waiting on her oldest daughter Dee to arrive residence. It is discovered that Mama and the church raised sufficient cash to send Dee to college in Augusta. Mama waits with Dee’s younger sister Maggie. Due to burns she received in a property fire, Maggie is really shy and insecure. She is also quite envious of Dee, as she is almost everything that Maggie is not. Although waiting, Mama fantasizes about reuniting with Dee on a television plan exactly where the youngster who has “made it” is confronted by their parents. Mama dreams that on this show, Dee would pin orchids to her dress and thank her for assisting her locate accomplishment.

When Dee ultimately arrives, she is joined by her boyfriend, Hakim-a-barber. Hakim-a-barber attempts to greet Mama and Maggie, but Maggie recoils from him. Meanwhile, Dee gets her camera from the car and begins to take pictures of Mama and Maggie in front of the property. When she is completed, she puts the camera away and kisses Mama on the forehead. When Mama calls Dee by her name, she proceeds to inform her that she has changed her name to “Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo”, as she no longer wanted to be named following the people who oppressed her.

They all go inside to consume. Hakim-a-barber announces that he does not consume collards and pork was unclean. Dee, nevertheless, eats every thing that Mama has to provide. She is specially delighted at the fact that the family nevertheless makes use of the benches her father created for the table. Quickly right after, Dee asks Mama if she can have the family’s butter churn and dasher. She reveals that she will use the churn top as a centerpiece for her table, and the dasher to serve some other artistic goal.

Next, Dee stumbles upon some old quilts created by her mother, aunt, and grandmother. Dee asks her mother for the quilts. Mama suggests that she takes any of the other quilts. However, Dee insists on the quilts hand stitched by her grandmother. Mama lastly reveals that she promised those quilts to Maggie for when she got married. Dee is offended. She argues that Maggie can not appreciate the quilts and will not be capable to preserve them. Mama in turn argues that she hopes Maggie does place them to each day use, and that she can always make far more since she knows how to quilt.

In an attempt to restore peace, Maggie delivers Dee the quilts. Nevertheless, when Mama looked at Maggie, she was struck with a feeling she got when she was in church. This feeling motivated her to snatch the quilts out of Dee’s arms and give them to Maggie, where she felt they belonged. She again tells Dee that she can have one of the other quilts. Dee decides to leave instead.

Upon leaving, Dee tells Mama that she does not comprehend her personal heritage. She also tells Maggie that’s it is a new day for black men and women and that she should try to make anything of her self. The story ends with Mama and Maggie watching Dee and Hakim-a-barber drive off, then sitting outside till the sun went down.
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