Alberto Alvarez Macias
Professor Penny Claudio
Writing about literature
1. In Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use,” two sisters have a different notion of what heritage means. Who has it “right”? Do they both have an argument? Explain and support your answer with specific references to the text.
The story 'Everyday Use', written by Alice Walker, is a story of heritage, pride, and learning what kind of person you really are. In the exposition, the story opens with background information about Dee and Maggie's life, which is being told by Mama. The reader learns that Dee was the type of child that had received everything that she wanted, while Maggie was the complete opposite. The crisis, which occurs later in the story, happens when Dee suddenly comes home a different person than she was when she left. During the Climax, Mama realizes that she has often neglected her other child, Maggie, by always giving Dee what she wants. I think that’s when Mama is soon realizing that she has been unfair to one of her daughters, Maggie. Mama notices that while she loves both her daughters equally, one seems to understand and value their heritage more than the other. One sees it as for what it is, their pride, history, and the other daughter sees it as nothing more than a materialistic item.
While Maggie being the maladjusted, low confidence but a beacon of purity, uncorrupted by selfishness or complex emotional needs. While both sisters love their family and have a sense of pride for their heritage. Maggie values their heritage more, but in a sentimental way. She takes pride and knowing the quilts represents their lineage, having pieces of their past family members belongings quilted on the quilt. While Maggie’s relationship with Dee is rife with jealousy and awe. Maggie had always thought Dee had been gifted with an easy life in which her hopes and dreams were ever something she could ever put priority over. Maggie seems to have taken both sisters’ difficulties onto her own shoulders, and although she never says explicitly that she finds it unfair, she clearly thinks so. In any case, Maggie does have a stronger an argument, when Maggie said, “She can have them, Mama.” (p7) Maggie decided to be a better person and not cause any conflict within her family, she always prefers living a simple, conflict-less life. She told her Mama that she can remember Grandma without needing to have the quilts in her possession. Maggie is the type of person that will not forget her heritage in due because she does not have the quilts. Maggie understands what it truly means to understand heritage rather than her sister who seems to only accept its presence. Maggie and her mother hold the opinion that one's culture is based on a foundation of inherited objects as well as methods of thinking. Dee on the other hand, views culture as something that is no longer relevant in the modern society since it has been washed away by history. Even though the quilts had been...