In the story Everyday Use by Alice Walker, we hear a story from the viewpoint of the mother which is referred as mama in the story who is an African American woman who received a visit from her daughter Dee. Mama along with her other daughter Maggie, who still live poor in the Deep South while Dee has moved onto a more successful life. Mama and Maggie has embraced their roots and heritage, whereas Dee on the other hand wants to get as far away from the heritage and tradition as possible.
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During her return back home, Dee attention is drawn to a quilt. It is this quilt and the title of the piece that centers on the concept of what it means to integrate oner’s culture into their everyday life.
To begin with a quilt is defined as a coverlet made of scrapes and fragments stitched together to forming a pattern (Webster). The quilt in the story was made by Grandma Dee, Big Dee, and Mama whor’s love and heritage was poured into this quilt, but made from scraps of dresses and shirts and part of Grandpar’s Civil War uniform. The quilt is filled with memories and was hand stitched by the family which is part of the tradition of the family. Mama suggests that Dee take other ones, but Dee rejects the offer because they were stitched by machine (Walker, p.114) and the old ones were done by hand. Mama says that she had promised them to Maggie. Dee then replies that Maggie would be backward enough to put them to everyday use (Walker,
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