In Alice Walker's brief tale "Everyday Use, " there are various things that Walker conveys throughout the storyline all of which package with the African American's background and values. The thing that shines the most in the short story is the character of Dee who is developed into an essential character throughout the story. Walker is able to point out her essential notion of history through Dee's frame of mind, her behavior, and her actions in "Everyday Use. " Dee is an extremely unthankful and unappreciative of her background, and in consequence the reader can form a knowledge of African American's history. Through Dee's characteristics shown by her attitude, personality, and activities, Walker in "Everyday Use" conveys the central notion of heritage in the brief story.
Dee is an individual that doesn't particularly adhere to her true traditions and shows a feeling of humiliation toward her ancestry, her mommy, and her sister. Dee results in as one which supports herself above her mom and sister especially since she received an education. Nancy Tuten knows Dee as one which wants so badly to visit school to become informed so that she actually is not seen as stupid, displaying that she is not exactly pleased with her history. She doesn't appreciate her mom and sister residing in the same way they have for years, suggesting an idea of humiliation toward her former (Tuten). Tuten highlights that Dee always "tries to devalue their lifestyle, " and seems to have a "desire that Mama and Maggie be something they are not" (126). Tuten records that Mama hates the selfishness that Dee brings to the stand, but still wishes to get respect from her little girl. Tuten brings in a source from Lindsey Tucker who suggests that Dee basically posesses "white middle-class identification" (126). Another valuable little bit of information earned for Tuten's article is Valerie Smith's thoughts interpreted by Marianne Hirsch describing Maggie's feelings of embarrassment in front of Dee. Smith points out the area of the storyline when Mama is interpreting how Maggie will respond to Dee and her arrival. Mama supposes that "Maggie will be anxious until after her sister will go: she will stand hopelessly in sides homely and ashamed of the burn up scars down her arms and legs, eying her sister with an assortment of envy and awe" (Walker 108). Hirsch views Maggie as the one that seems "powerless" and "pathetic" (Tuten 127). Many of these aspects that Dee has taken to the table make her may actually the audience that she is under-appreciative of what her traditions has really done on her behalf which causes the interpretation that she is embarrassed.
Dee also should go much enough into her fairytale life and changes her name, wanting to disregard her family's individuality, clearly showing her shame for it. Tuten's article also points out Hirsch's view regarding this change of name in "Everyday Use. " She is aware of Mama as one that hasn't shown any stress toward Dee until this section when Dee can't even keep her name and a portion of her history. Hirsch records that Walker changes the verb tense for the reason that dialog over her id change, creating a tone of voice for Mama that has much more power (Tuten). This ability is eventually used, says Tuten, to help Mama, "affirm her allegiance to Maggie and assert her emotional liberty from Dee" (128). David Cowart also talks about the disloyalty of Dee by changing her name which was passed from technology to technology in their family all the way back and at night Civil Battle. Cowart views this disloyal action along with "her clothes, her locks, her sun shades, her patronizing talk, and her Black color Muslim partner" as Dee trying to declare "a deplorable degree of alienation from her rural origins and family" (172). Dee doesn't grasp the idea that her name connects her to her history, and by changing that she is seen as trying to disregard where she comes from. Cowart recognizes Dee as the one that has basically detached herself from a "nurturing tradition" (172).
Dee selects to disengage herself from her early name which was passed on in her family for something classier such as Wangero. Her name was also her great-grandmother's name, and by changing it, Dee appears to not have much look after her family. She thinks it is much classier, but Helga Hoel notes that the name is distorted from the original reference to a Kikuyu name. Hoel brings in a source from Barbara Religious clarifying that "names are really important in African and African American culture as a means of indicating a person's spirit" (Hoel 37). To conclude to the remark, Dee is seen as one that is trying to remove her name and history which web links her to the others of her family that is a supposed to be an essential part in her life. Hoel declares that Dee's personality change of her first and middle name do not even represent one ethnic group, instead it pertains to the entire East African area. Hoel notices this fault and views it as something that presents Dee's "superficial understanding of Africa and everything it means" (37). This aspect made plays a part in the thought that Dee doesn't appreciate her history because she is trying to alter it and doesn't even understand what is truly behind her new one either.
Dee wants to have several items in the house to symbolize her family's ancestry put on display at her house rather than adding them into everyday use. She disconnects herself from her family name, but still believes that she should be able to take many family items to be placed on screen. Cowart understands Dee's desire for the quilts, the churn lid, and the photographs "for purposes of display, reminders that she no more has to stay in such a residence, care for such a cow, and have daily intercourse with such a mother and sister" (175). Donna Haisty Winchell in Cowart's article implies that Dee "makes the miscalculation of thinking that one's heritage is something that a person puts on screen if so when such a display is stylish" (Cowart 175). Dee will not see the wrong to take these things from Mama and Maggie, failing to appreciate their heritage. Instead, Cowart proposes that "she, who wants only to maintain that history as the negative index to her own style" (175). When Dee comes home to visit Mama and Maggie, she takes her show of images. She will take several injections, those of the cows, Maggie, and undoubtedly the house. Whitsitt records that she images everything and frames the image of Maggie's and Mama's lifestyle, rendering it resemble a life she actually is not a element of. The foundation from the Bakers in this article says that they know this as Dee's "fashionably 'aesthetic' distance from southern expediencies, " and her "framed experience" of her traditions (Whitsitt 449).
In addition to Dee's desire for family items, she also brings along a feature of overlooking these belongings and devaluing items like the quilts which should indicate something to her and her traditions. Elaine Showalter notes in Cowart's article that the quilts, fought over by Wangero (Dee) and her mom suggest an ancestry that is much "more personal and immediate than the intellectual and deracinated little girl can see" (Cowart 179). Quilts are seen as the "creative legacy that African Americans have inherited of their maternal ancestors" says Barbara Religious in Sam Whitsitt's literary critique (Whitsitt 443). The quilts hook up people and families to their later generations to their recent by resembling the tradition and bits of their past which will be passed to the people in today's days and nights (Whitsitt). Cowart says that the quilts illustrate the ancestry that Dee has recently left behind which she now doesn't even promote her name with folks in her family whose lives were pieced together of their old scraps of clothes into quilts (Cowart). Barbara Religious in Cowart's article remarks that the traditions in the eyes of Maggie and Mama is depended on by living a tradition. The quilting and butter churning with their developed nags for it are passed on from each generation in their family. She thinks that Mama and Maggie should continue being put these items into every day use as they continue to keep up the trend in doing everything and living the tradition. Maggie is the one that can quilt, in case Dee is the one that gets the quilt, then the tradition combined with the learned skills will minimize and discontinue throughout the family tree (Cowart).
Whitsitt also notices a verb tense after Dee announces her individuality change which he feels gives Mama's tone more ability along with creating a low profile frame that divides Dee from Mama and Maggie and their lifestyle. When Mama changes tenses to gain more power after Dee instructs her of her personal information change, Whitsitt believes that Mama is then starting to be framed with Mama outside with a different view on lifestyle and the family's history (Whitsitt). Inside the story the audience views Mama's pleasure of Dee approaching home as her ready to enjoy moment put in with her child. She realizes that she has kept to become informed and altered her lifestyle which partially ends up with their different views on everything. Whitsitt brings in a quotation from Hirsch, who notices the discrepancy of both but says that Mama does indeed a congrats of earning her decisions by herself rather than changing her values of her traditions like her little princess did. He says that she has an "ability to keep a distance from Dee without visibly rejecting her" (Whitsitt 451). When Dee introduces her identification change, Whitsitt notices this verb transfer as Tuten does and recognizes it as Mama's epiphany when "something strike me in the very best of my brain and ran down the bottoms of my ft, " leading Mama to adopt charge and do something that "I never had done before: hugged Maggie to me" (Walker 113). He is aware of the unframed to framed, present tense to past tense forms to signify the thought of alteration and Walker's attention paid toward it. Whitsitt concludes that the central individuals in the story have transformed throughout "Everyday Use. " He points out that "Dee, whose insensitive intrusion, who in spite of herself brings Mama to assert a voice" (Whitsitt 454). Dee's change helps Mama develop and change in the story by eventually gaining words and sticking up for herself along with Maggie and the quilts (Whitsitt).
Dee's activities of seeking to take the quilts which were promised to Maggie, characterizes her as a thief. Person who notices the cruel action is Whitsitt, who considers the attempted action as stealing from her innocent sister, Maggie. He notices that Dee would like to use the quilts along with other items of the house, but without the connection such as an "obligation" to them which Whitsitt views as "denigrating the quilts, and then proclaiming they are priceless" (456). Dee gets very furious and frustrated after Mama says that she guaranteed the quilts to Maggie, and she blames Maggie noting that she is "too backward to learn the difference between things of value and of no value" (Walker 112). Whitsitt is convinced this comment and finger-pointing is also done within an indirect way pointed not only at Maggie but also toward Mama and their standard of living (Whitsitt).
Regardless of most of Dee's disloyal actions, behaviour, and undermining, she still desires to work with the quilts to put on on her wall structure to signify her ancestry. She is unappreciative of the materials things like the quilts, but she still believes that she deserves them even though she is embarrassed of her recent. She faults her own history and changes her name to something that's not even correct from her country. She can take her history for awarded by changing into some would call a "phony" (Cowart172). Dee values her heritage for all your incorrect reasons such as when she is said to make use of it as aesthetics to put on screen in her house but really only to show that she actually is no longer a part of it any longer. She always puts down Maggie and Mama, hinting that they need to change and give up living in the past, but really Maggie and Mama feel that they must be living in custom somewhat than changing their everyday activities. Dee recognizes herself as confirming her African history especially by changing her name to Wangero, by changing her way of life, and by changing her appearance, but she only appears to belittle her cultural background.