How does the difference between the way Dee (Wangero) and Maggie would use the quilts represent their two different ways of defining and treating their family’s heritage? Does the narrative give approval to Dee’s way or Maggie ’s?
The idea of heritage is very different from one person to another. The story of “Everyday Use” shows a dynamic picture of two sisters that see their family history and upbringing nearly opposite points of view. The quilts become the catalyst for a cultural battle between Dee’s (Wangero) new “enlightened” lifestyle and Maggie’s contentment with her upbringing.
Dee makes it clear, long before she asked for the quilts, that she has already taken her heritage for ...view middle of the document...
Yet, Maggie appreciated the quilt far more than Dee ever could. The younger sister had learned the craft of quilt and was taught be the women that made these heirlooms. Dee’s assessment that Maggie would destroy them is foolish since the quilt had never been used and stored for safe keeping for so many years. Maggie’s love for quilting and the heritage is apparent by her desire to stay in the life she was raised in. She is not offended by living a simple life like Dee is.
In the end, the story pushes the reader to believe that this simple unmanipulated life is best and it was the right decision for the Mama to keep the quilts for Maggie. The meaning of heritage is different for each woman in the story, but the hope of honoring the past is embodied in Maggie.
Theodore Roethke - “My Papa’s Waltz”
What in the poem indicates that the boy’s feelings for his father are ambivalent or that there are some conflicts in their relationship?
In Theodore Roethke poems, “My Papa’s Waltz,” the boy’s views of his father are conflicted by his love for his dad and his uneasiness over the father’s drunken state of being. It is possible that the voice of this poems is looking back at himself as a young child, “At every step you missed, My right ear scraped a buckle” (Roethke, 2138). This gives us an image of a little boy dancing with his father, perhaps standing on his shoes and only being as tall as his father’s waist. Being such a young boy, the speaker is wanting to bring a sense of innocence to the child’s love and genuine confusion and discomfort about how he feels about his father’s drunkenness.
There is deep sense of fun and satisfaction at time in the poem, “We romped until the pan, Slid from the kitchen shelf” and “Then you waltzed me of bed” (Roethke, 2138). The boy feels like there is fun and excitement in the fact the dancing is so lively it is know pan’s off the shelf. The word “romped” delivers with it some connotation that is deliberate. The word is selected because of its association with a good time and makes us believe the son enjoys his time dancing. In the end, the son is taken to bed still dance with his father. They are playing until he goes to sleep and the boy is hold on to his father as the poem ends.
Despite these moments of lighthearted fun, there is also a undertone of fear and confusion. The father seems to be in dancing mood because he is drunk, “The whiskey on your breath, Could make a small dizzy” (Roethke, 2138). This tells the reader that the father was more than a little drunk. The smell of his breath make the child want to turn away or get some distance because it is so strong. The mother countenance is also an indicator that something is amiss. Instead of enjoy the father and son’s fun, she is concerned. It is not the pans she is worried about, but rather her son. The father is obviously rough as the son “hung on like death” to his father in order to dance. The father’s description also makes...