How did Dee treat Mama and Maggie?

In "Everyday Use," Dee treats Mama and Maggie extremely disrespectfully, taking photos of the family home as though she is a tourist and helping herself to various items from their home. She also lectures them about how they should live their lives, failing to see that they are happy with the life they already have.

Expert Answers

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One might argue that Dee treated Mama and Maggie with a degree of scorn and derision. It seems that the visit that she and Hakim-a-Barber make to the family home is partly out of a sense of obligation but predominantly to see what could be garnered from the family home to become trendy décor in Dee's home.

The first sign of Dee creating a stark contrast between her life and that of her mother and sister is when she steps out of the car and starts snapping photos, as though she is a tourist in a foreign land.

After lunch, Dee embarks on a "shopping spree" through Mama and Maggie's home, picking out items which she thinks will add decorative value to her home. While no one objects to her taking the churn and dasher, she starts a family argument when she states that she should have the family heirloom quilts because they will be far better used as décor in her own home than they would be being put to "everyday use" by Maggie.

The final sting in the tail of Dee's visit is when she lectures her mother about how she understands her heritage better than Mama does and when she tells Maggie to do something with her life, completely failing to perceive the satisfaction with which Mama and Maggie live their simple lives.

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