In "Everyday Use," summarize the resolution of the plot.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Unfortunately you have asked more than one question. Enotes regulations specifies you are only able to ask one, so I have edited your question to focus on the resolution of the plot. Remember that the resolution or denouement of the plot is the final section, where the problems or conflicts are resolved and the story ends.

Clearly, in "Everyday Use", the central conflict is between the characters, and in particular Dee's insistence that she be given the quilts and her feelings of superiority compared to her mother and sister. It is interesting therefore to see how this conflict is resolved. It is when Mama looks at Maggie, Dee's sister, and sees her "dopey, hangdog look" and her acceptance of always coming second in life that Mama surprises both herself and her daughters:

When I looked at her like that, something hit me in the top of my head and ran down to the soled of my feet. Just like when I'm in church and the spirit of God touches me and I get happy and shout. I did something I never had done before: hugged Maggie to me, then dragged her on into the room, snatched the quilts out of Miss Wangero's hands, and dumped them into Maggie's lap. Maggie just sat there on my bed with her mouth open.

Thus the resolution of this story occurs when Mama decides not to give in any more to her pushy daughter Dee, and gives the quilts to her subdued and shy daughter, Maggie, clearly highlighting the fact that it is actually Maggie who can understand the importance of the quilts in terms of their family heritage. It is Dee who, by abandoning and rejecting her roots, has shown that she is incapable of fully appreciating the very real piece of history that the quilts represent, and Mama shows considerable strength and wisdom in giving them to Maggie.

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epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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“Everyday Use” is a genuinely funny story. Narrated by the mother, whose wry good sense contrasts vividly with her older daughter’s pretensions, the story highlights not only a generation gap, but a contrast between two sharply different attitudes toward the idea of heritage. Dee, having returned with a new boyfriend while on a trip to Africa and having suddenly discovered that old quilts and dashers are potentially interesting decorations, accuses her mother and sister of not understanding their heritage because they fail to appreciate the artistic value of such objects. However,she herself is so divorced from her heritage that she does not know which member of the family made the dasher. It may be true, as Dee accuses, that Maggie and her mother don’t “understand” their heritage—at least not in an intellectual way. The resolution occurs when the mother has an epiphany in church that she understands her daughter knows more about culture and love than the older pretentious daughter and the mother gives the quilts to the younger daughter even though the older daughter wanted them for decorations.

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