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Everyday Use by Alice Walker PDF
[PDF] Everyday Use by Alice Walker PDF
Author: Alice Walker
No. Of Pages: 08
PDF Size: 449 KB
Language: English
Category: eBooks & Novels
Source: Drive Files
Everyday Use by Alice Walker PDF

Everyday Use by Alice Walker Summary

Mama, the story’s first person narrator, explains her connection with her daughter Dee in “Everyday Use,” when Dee, a well-educated young African-American woman, returns to her childhood home in the Deep South. Mama and Maggie, Dee’s sister and Mama’s younger daughter, begin the narrative by preparing for the visit. Mama fantasizes of reuniting with her daughter on a television programmed hosted by someone like Johnny Carson, while Maggie changes her clothing. Mama then rejects her idea as improbable, claiming that she is not the kind of person who would appear on such a programmed.

Mama glances around the yard and at Maggie as she waits for Dee, bringing up memories of Dee’s tumultuous youth in their homeā€”her rage at her family and their poverty, her desire for better clothing and an education, her charm, assertiveness, and beauty. Mama reflects on how Dee’s attitude toward them changed as she grew more educated, due to money from Mama and the Church, and how she went from being hostile to being hurtfully condescending. Mama compares Dee to Maggie, a shy, sweet, homely young lady with a scar on her face from the house fire, as she recalls Dee as a toddler. Mama describes the traumatic fire that destroyed their house and prompted them to rebuild a new one, identical to their old one, where they currently reside.

Dee and her companion, Hakim-a-Barber, finally arrive at the residence. Dee is dressed in an African-style floor-length outfit that is both gorgeous and vibrant. She presents herself as “Wangero,” rather than Dee, and claims that she altered her name to avoid being named after her “oppressors.” Mama is initially doubtful of both of these options, but she ultimately decides that the outfit is her favourite. Mama informs Dee that she is named after her aunt Dicie, but she agrees to call her by the name she prefers.

Dee photographs her family in front of their home. Dee and Hakim-a-Barber sit down to dine with Mama and Maggie, and although Hakim-a-Barber is unimpressed with the family’s cuisine, Dee loves the collard greens and pork. Dee, who formerly despised the family’s goods, has developed an unexpected fondness for them, as Mama stated. She admires the battered chairs, coos over her grandmother’s butter dish, and insists that the top of the family’s butter churn be given to her to use as a decorative item in her home. Mama agrees and hands the churn over to Dee.

Dee insists on bringing her grandmother’s quilts home with her after supper to display on her walls. Mama, on the other hand, had intended to give the quilts to Maggie. Dee becomes enraged when Mama refuses, claiming that she promised them to Maggie. She claims that Maggie will not appreciate the quilts and that “daily usage” would wear them out. Dee claims that the quilts are “priceless” and that Mama does not “understand” her history when Mama dismisses Dee’s outrage by claiming that Maggie can just create new quilts now that she understands how to sew. Mama, on the other hand, refuses to give Dee the quilts and instead tosses them on Maggie’s lap. Dee’s departure brings the narrative to a close, leaving Mama and Maggie alone in the home.

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