How many parts of the story relate to the title, "Everyday Use"?

Expert Answers
bmadnick eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I hope I understand your question correctly to mean which items in the story relate to the title of "Everyday Use". This is the conflict in the story between the mother and Dee regarding the things in the mother's house, such as the quilts. Dee sees the objects in her mother's house as representative of African-American folk art.  Mrs. Johnson is tied to these objects through her memories of the family members. Each of the quilts was made from the clothing of members of her family and represents the Johnson family history. Mrs. Johnson can look at the quilts and remember which piece of the quilt belonged to a certain member of their family, and this reminds her of that particular person. Maggie and Mrs. Johnson remember the individual people of their family. Dee doesn't care about the family history; she only cares about how each piece will look in her place.

When Dee wants the quilts to display in her apartment, her mother tells her they have been promised to her sister, Maggie, who is about to get married. Maggie will use the quilts as covers on her beds, but Dee will just display them. This is the reference to the title, "Everyday Use". Dee doesn't want anyone where she lives to know that she came from a poor, rural background, so she would never use the quilts except as African folk art.