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Everyday Use: How To Appreciate One’s Culture

825 words - 4 pages

Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” revolves around a conversation the mother has with the Dee, the daughter that went off to college and her sister Maggie. A discussion over who is more deserving of the hand stitched quilts sewed together by their mother, Grandmother, and Aunt Dee. During their conversation, both daughters will demonstrate how they appreciate their family quilts, but sadly, we can conclude that only one of the girls illustrates how to appreciate one’s culture. Maggie uses the quilts to remember her Grandmother Dee, while her sister Dee changes her name and only wants to use the quilts to decorate her home.
Dee, a family name that the mother can trace beyond the civil war ...view middle of the document...

”(467) this showed her mother how little Dee regarded the fillings of her sister. Maggie on the other hand, showed her mother that she already appreciated the value of the quilts when she said, “I can member Grandma Dee without the quilts”(468) Meaning that she would have let Dee take them with her, but regardless she would have kept the memory of her Grandmother Dee alive. The perspective Maggie gives us shows the value and care she has for her immediate family heritage, while Wangero (Dee) would rather have them lying around her home as furniture.
Dee cannot fully appreciate the culture she left with her new identity Wangero. When they sat down to eat Hakim-a-barber did not eat the pork on his plate, claiming that it was “unclean” (465) Dee on the other hand enjoyed everything prepared by her mother. This shows at the very least that she is not completely committed to her new identity and that she is still trying to enjoy her culture. This is one instance where the two identities clash. At an earlier point in the story, Dee declined the offer of her Grandmothers quilts before heading off to college, but on her return, she cried out furiously, “But they’re priceless!””(467) this shows how little her culture meant to Dee before she left and when she continues to yell, “You just will not understand....

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