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Compare and contrast the relationships between the mother and each of her daughters,...

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longwinded | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted May 9, 2011 at 4:06 PM via web

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Compare and contrast the relationships between the mother and each of her daughters, Dee and Maggie, in ''Everyday Use.''

I'm having trouble finding similarities between the mother and each of the daughters.

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amymc | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted September 18, 2011 at 6:20 AM (Answer #1)

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Both mother-daughter relationships begin in the same place - in a simple home in the rural South.  The mother clearly loves both daughters.  She protects and cares for the simpler Maggie, and she is proud of her successful daughter Dee and looks forward to her visit.

Additionally, she seems to want to be fair to both daughters, to treat them equally.  She accomodates Dee's name change and seems to accept her very different lifestyle and choice of partners.  She agrees to give Dee a butter churn so that she can turn it into decorative art.  Similarly, she protects Maggie's quilts from becoming wall hangings and denies Dee what she has already promised her other daughter.

The differences in the relationships come from the similarities between Maggie and her mother.  Maggie has remained in the home, following similar patterns of behavior and lifestyle whie Dee has gone of to school and moved away.  Maggie seems to respect the simple, rustic life that Dee has clearly abandoned.  Finally, Dee has been able to succeed on her own; she has strength and intelligence and beauty.  Maggie is not so lucky.  She has been disfigured in a fire, is not bright and has come to accept that she is a relatively luckless woman.  Mothers tend to protect these "weaker" children.

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