What is the short story everyday use about. Short Story Review: Everyday Use Flashcards 2022-10-28
What is the short story everyday use about Rating:
"Everyday Use" is a short story written by Alice Walker. It was first published in 1973 as part of a collection of short stories called In Love and Trouble. The story is narrated by a woman named Mama, who is the mother of two daughters: Dee and Maggie.
The story begins with Mama waiting for Dee, who is coming to visit from college. Mama is excited to see Dee, but she is also nervous because she knows that Dee is very different from her and her other daughter, Maggie. Dee is educated and has adopted a more African-American cultural identity, while Mama and Maggie are more traditional and rural.
When Dee arrives, she brings with her a man named Hakim-a-barber, who is described as a "black militant." Dee has changed her name to Wangero, and she is wearing traditional African clothing. Dee is critical of Mama and Maggie's way of life, and she tells them that they are "dead" and that they do not understand their own heritage.
Mama is upset by Dee's attitude, but she tries to be understanding and patient. She shows Dee a quilt that she and Maggie made, but Dee is not interested in the quilt and instead expresses interest in a set of butter churns that Mama has. Mama is hesitant to give Dee the butter churns because she knows that Dee will not use them for their intended purpose, but instead will display them as decorative objects. Mama is also concerned that Dee will sell the butter churns for money, as she has done with other items in the past.
Mama decides to give the quilt to Maggie instead, even though Dee expresses interest in it. Mama explains to Dee that the quilt has sentimental value and that it was made with the intention of being used every day, not just displayed as an object. Maggie is happy to receive the quilt and agrees to use it in everyday life.
In the end, Mama realizes that Dee is not truly interested in her culture or heritage, but is more interested in exploiting it for personal gain. Mama decides to give the butter churns to Maggie as well, and she tells Dee that she can have them if she wants them, but that she will not be taking them with her when she leaves. Dee leaves without the butter churns, and Mama and Maggie are left to continue their traditional way of life.
In "Everyday Use," Alice Walker explores themes of identity, heritage, and the value of everyday objects. The story suggests that true appreciation and understanding of one's culture and heritage comes from experiencing and living it, rather than just exploiting it for personal gain or display.
Summary, Themes & Analysis of “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker: Symbols & Setting
. Everyday Use is a widely studied piece of literature to imbibe moral principles. Mama is also worried about her youngest daughter, Maggie, because she feels anxious around Dee. In this story, Dee, the oldest daughter of the family, has become ashamed of her heritage and where she comes from. Mama recounts the traumatizing fire, which burnt down their home, and forced them to build a new one, exactly like it, where they now live.
Mama wonders whether he and Dee are married, but she decides against asking. In the end, he settles on having her call him Hakim-a-barber. Dee is very well educated and an independent woman who is also a member of the Black Nationalists. Various interpretations of the short stories are presented and studied. She wants Maggie to use them on a daily basis, because, for her, this everyday use is how her heritage is properly honored.
Summary, Themes & Analysis of â€œEveryday Useâ€ by Alice Walker: Symbols & Setting â€“ Short Story Guide
Mama remembers how Dee was ashamed of the house, and how she refused to bring friends there. Mama thinks hard, looking at Maggie, taking in her snuff-filled lip, her burn-scarred hands hidden in the folds of her too-big clothes, her sad resignation that she will not be able to keep the quilts, and her lack of anger at Dee. For Dee, heritage must be fully removed from her current life in order to be appealing. The significance of the title Everyday Use is that things that are treasured and passed down form generation to generation are meant for Everyday Use and not to be displayed as a trophy. Dee is named after her black female ancestors, but, presumably, her Western name came at some point from European roots. She now covets them, admiring their antiquity and the family history that she believes they represent. Whereas Mama and Maggie perceive these quilts as objects that have both function and sentimental beauty, Wangero perceives them only as static objects meant for a framed display of African American artifacts.
. For her and Maggie, the yard evokes safety, a place where they can exert what little control they have over their environment. When Dee arrives, Mama is surprised to see that she and the man who accompanies her are wearing traditional African clothes. For Mama, the quilts are a rich symbol of her heritage. The readers are introduced about Maggie and her scars, that was caused to her a long time ago when their house caught fire. His desire to make a good first impression makes him seem awkward.
Everyday Use is a conflict between two perspectives of valuing a culture of African-American society. In this instance, eye contact again is a power Dee possesses and Mama does not. The title of The central conflict of this story revolves around the mother's refusal to give her daughter Dee now calling herself Wangero two quilts that the women of the family pieced together from scraps of family members' clothing. Mama thinks that when Dee arrives, she will want to tear it down. The greeting is silly and somewhat awkward, however, since neither Mama nor Maggie speak these languages. Using physical attributes, the writer wants the readers to understand that both her daughters are very different from each other and herself.
Mama, unsure at first, decides that she thinks the dress is beautiful. Dee announces that she has changed her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo, saying that she couldn't stand to use a name from oppressors. Mama recalls how Dee looked pleased to see the first house, which she loathed, burn to the ground. Burned in a house fire as a young girl, Maggie lacks confidence and shuffles when she walks, often fleeing or hanging in the background when there are other people around, unable to make eye contact. In her daydream, she and Dee hug, with tears in their eyes.
The four of them sit and eat collard greens, pork, sweet potatoes, and cornbread. She, too, has an Afro. The story is recited in the first person. She wants to hang them on the wall as evidence of a world which, she believes, has rightly vanished for Black people in America. Dee steps out of the car wearing a floor-length, brightly colored dress, gold earrings, and jingling bracelets.
In Everyday Use, Alice Walker uses symbolic settings to portray the vitality of upholding and respecting the true value of African-American culture. Maggie is living the day to day memories of her past because she has grown up respecting it all her life, even with the hardships and devastations she has had to endure. For once, the mother was able to see how ungrateful Dee was and Maggie as the successful daughter, putting in mind that the mother is depicted to value having a more emotional connection with her daughters. All these everyday use materials are used as a symbol to represent the significance of cultural and heritage of an African-American family. Wangero sweetly asks if she can have the quilts, but Mama invites her to take one of the quilts that were sewn by machine. The story deals with the interpretation of how the culture must be respected.
The defining of quilts can be noticed as the introduction of heritage and history behind it. As she remembers Dee as a child, Mama contrasts her with Maggie—a diffident, kind, homely young woman with a scar on her face from the house fire. She hugs Maggie and pulls her into the room where Wangero stands with the quilts in her arms. She wonders how long it has been since that traumatic event. Long and Short Essays on Everyday Use for Students and Kids in English We are providing a long essay on Everyday Use of 500 words and a short essay of 150 words on the same topic along with ten lines about the topic to help readers. When Mama points out that this will make them last longer, Dee insists that the hand-stitching is what makes them valuable. The quilts are pieces of living history, documents in fabric that chronicle the lives of the various generations and the trials, such as war and poverty, that they faced.
The memory of the fire complicates the symbol of the house as a site of familial love and history, turning the house also into a site of trauma and pain, muddling its joyful image. Instead of receiving a financial inheritance from her ancestors, Mama has been given the quilts. There are various interpretations of the story and its morals. Dee is dressed in a beautiful, colorful, floor-length dress in African style. Mama goes on to describe the yard, saying it is like a living room, with the ground swept clean like a floor. Before they leave, Wangero lectures her mother about how poorly she understands her heritage.