Everyday Use Heritage Analysis

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Heritage Embraced What does it mean to truly embrace one’s heritage? Is a quiet and modest understanding and representation? Or perhaps is it loudly and ostentatiously flaunting one’s past? These are the questions posed in Alice Walker’s short story “Everyday Use” (147). Walkers main characters Dee and Maggie are African American sisters who could not be more opposite. Dee is very confident while Maggie is self-conscious. Dee educated and is happy away from home. Maggie is “slow” and homely. Maggie represents the quieter portion of cause fighters. She represents those who are aware of the cause but are content to stay out of the way and let others stomp and yell for change. Growing up, Maggie was shy and quiet. She was self-conscious about her scars from when her home burned. These scars made her feel inferior to beautiful Dee and her friends so Maggie stayed home with her mother…show more content…
She represents those who demanded change and were not afraid to stomp and yell and make a ruckus to get said change. Growing up, Dee was witty and outgoing. She was educated and this made her slightly condescending to her family and friends. She spent her time trying to impress those around her with her educated ways and “free thinking” personality. She never seemed content with what she had and always wanted something “better.” As Maggie grew older, she remained quiet and homely. However, she is comfortable with her life. She is content with where she is and where she is going. Maggie is aware that she can do more with her life but does not feel the need since she already had everything she needs. The quilts that become such a hot topic hold only sentimental value to Maggie. She does not see them as holding monetary value because to her they are gentle reminders to the good times she had growing up with her family. This is evident when she says “ ‘She can have them, Mama. I can ‘member Grandma Dee without the quilts.’

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