How are Maggie and Dee alike in the story "Everyday Use"?

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amy-lepore | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Both girls come from the same background, and they are both beautiful in their own ways...Dee more ostentatious and outgoing, Maggie in a spiritual and loyal way due to her scars and low self-esteem.

Both girls are interested in the quilts and butter churn and other items which constitute their "history", but for different reasons.  Dee wants to put them on a wall or on a shelf to be admired as a long-lost art and part of the past, while Maggie knows how to make these items and she wants them to remember her past but also to make a present and future.  These items are part of her wedding dowry, and she is connected and grounded to the part of herself and her family heritage which created them. 

They are also alike in their tempers, although it takes much more to get Maggie angry than Dee.  Dee is used to being deferred to and getting what she wants--she is beautiful and smart, and she takes matters into her own hands when they aren't going her way (take the burning of the house she hated which scarred Maggie for instance).  Maggie is not used to getting her way since her sister was always in the limelight.  Maggie did not go to school, does not dress in colorful attention-getting African garb, and does not have a fancy boyfriend, but she does slam a door which indicates her feelings about the quilts and butter churn her sister has come to claim out fromunder Maggie's feet. The temper has flared, and Maggie gets her quilts.


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