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. Mama goes on to describe the yard, saying it is like a living room, with the ground swept clean like a floor. Mama also shows her sense of attachment towards her domestic space.
Contact Author The quilt causes the central conflict of the story but the problems run much deeper. When Dee goes to college she can barely wait to shake the dust off her feet from her poor, Georgia community.
Unreliable Narrator One of the interesting techniques that Alice Walker uses to tell her story is by making it a first person narrative told through Mama, an uneducated, rural Georgia, black woman, living in the past and unable to understand the present. She admits to the reader from an early point that she never understood Dee and the she and her older daughter clashed from the time that she was a young girl.
So already we are being told this story by a biased narrator, one who has her own prejudices and who possibly lacks the capacity to fully understand who Dee is or who she has become.
When Dee comes back from school with a new Muslim boyfriend and a name change and suddenly claims that she understands her past and wants to preserve it, Mama is understandably confused, hurt and angry. She lashes out towards Dee in the only way she can, by painting a negative picture of her to the reader and by denying her the quilt that she so desperately wants.
The Quilt The quilt becomes the central conflict in the story.
It has had generations Book analysis everyday use family work on it and even contains a patch from a very old Civil War uniform. The conflict arises when the question of whether this unique quilt should go to Maggie who plans to use it when she gets married soon, or to Dee who says she wants to hang it up and preserve it is asked.
From the title of the story, the reader can probably already guess what Mama thinks and what the fate of the quilt would be. But was it the right choice? Can quilts also be more than just a cover? Source Maggie Maggie is easily the most pathetic character in the story.
Whether she is clueless because of a mental disability or because of her lack of exposure to education and the outside world, she seems to be dominated by Dee. But remember, that the reader is only getting this information through Mama. There is some question about whether Mama just sees what she wants to see.
Mama even blames Dee for the accident that left Maggie disabled and walking with a limp. Maggie does not want to get in the way of her sister and when Dee wants the quilt, Maggie tells Mama just to let her have it.
As she leaves she encourages Maggie to get away and tells her that it is a whole new world out therea world that Dee has discovered through education and exposure. Dee Dee gets a bad rap from the beginning. Since he reader is set up to dislike her and be suspicious of her because of Mama, some careful reading and analysis reveals what is good about Dee.
She does sweep in with all these changes and is demanding and overwhelms Mama. We know from Mama that she has always had a commanding presence. Dee is not perfect, but is she wrong? But has she really changed and of the changes she made, are they completely invalid?
Dee is not wrong that her name, that came from her grandmother, actually has its roots in slavery. She also attempts to re-establish that connection by expressing herself through dress and name change.
The opposite is actually true. These changes show that Dee is trying to establish a deeper understanding and connection with her history--something Mama is either unable or unwilling to do. The quilt in question may be art. Source Quilts as Art The central argument Dee makes is that the quilt in question is art and history and should not be used for everyday use.
Mama believes that quilts are made to be used. So who is right? Well, both of them. While the quilt in question was created out of practicality through several generations and was intended for use as a bed cover, its heritage and history may have elevated it to a higher, more important place.
The idea of practical art is deeply rooted in African customs. Beautiful baskets, mats and blankets were made to be pleasing to the eye as well as be useful.
And possibly Dee is right. It is not only art, it is art that needs to be preserved.
The quilts are unique works of art, made from scraps but telling a story through patterns and designs that can be traced back to their African roots from a very long time ago. Although there was some exploitation when the quilts were first discovered buying them for cheap and selling them for much more eventually the women were told of the value of their unique quilts."Everyday Use" is narrated from the point of view of Mama, a big-boned woman who dreams of being the thin, smart, funny mother her daughters seem to want.
She waits for them in the yard, thinking. Alice Walker's Everyday Use Short Story Analysis. Updated on November 15, L C David. more. Contact Author. The quilt causes the central conflict of the story but the problems run much deeper. | Source. Alice Walker's "Everyday Use" examines the divide between the rural, southern black in the 60's and 70's and the new progressive .
Book Analysis: Everyday Use. Topics: Short story, A Literary Analysis of Everyday Use Alice Walker's short story, "Everyday Use," shows the significance of genuinely understanding our own family traditions and culture through our present lives.
The story presents two sides in conflict through the characters of Maggie and Dee. A short summary of Alice Walker's Everyday Use. This free synopsis covers all the crucial plot points of Everyday Use. Everyday Use study guide contains a biography of Alice Walker, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
Book Analysis: Everyday Use. Pages: 3 ( words) Published: February 21, Akia James English January/ Dr. Abraham Life as a Whole “Everyday Use” symbolizes the importance of quilts and the value put upon them by a mother and her two children. “I try to teach my heart not to want things it can't have” once said Alice Walker.