In Everyday Use, according to Mama, how are Dee and Maggie different?

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Maggie is "homely," shy, and has scars from her burns. Dee is lighter, "with nicer hair and a fuller figure." Maggie looks at Dee with "envy and awe." Maggie feels that life has always been easier for Dee than for her. 

Mama imagines meeting Dee on a famous talk show when Dee has become famous. Dee has always been successful, outgoing, and modern. In many ways, Dee and Maggie are opposites. Mama has no imaginings of Maggie in this way. 

According to Mama, Maggie walks like a lame animal with her head bent down. Much of Maggie's shyness has to do with the physical and mental trauma she endured in the fire. Dee is unharmed in the fire. Mama adds that Dee hated the house and was probably glad to see it burn down. But Mama adds that Dee does not hate Maggie. 

Dee "wanted nice things." There is definitely a superficial quality about Dee. When she asks for the quilts, she simply wants to display them. Maggie, on the other hand, would use them as blankets, the way they were intended. Maggie is practical. When Dee arrives, she is wearing a loud dress, earrings, and noisy bracelets. Her vivid dress and noisy bracelets announce her arrival as she shouts an African greeting. Meanwhile, Maggie shrinks back in shyness. 

When Dee asks for the quilts, Maggie says she can have them. Mama narrates that Maggie says this "like somebody used to never winning anything, or having anything reserved for her." Dee is quite the opposite. She is someone used to getting her way. 

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