If Dee was the narrator of the story, how would the story be different?
In Alice Walker's celebrated short story "Everyday Use," Mrs. Johnson narrates the story of her daughter's return and elaborates on the details of her visit as Dee gets upset when Mrs. Johnson prohibits her from taking their family's antique blankets. In the story, Dee is depicted as a progressive, confident woman, who attempts to celebrate her African heritage by renaming herself Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo. In doing so, Dee firmly believes she is rejecting the former slave masters who initially gave her ancestors' their name. Unlike Mama (Mrs. Johnson), who is humble, understanding, and practical, Dee is officious, arrogant, and self-centered.
If Dee were to narrate the story, she would begin by commenting on the backward lifestyle of Mama and Maggie. Dee would harshly criticize their rural home and comment on their lack of education and understanding in regards to their African heritage. When Dee tells her mother and sister her new name, she would more than likely comment on their inability to comprehend Black Nationalism or accurately perceive the direction of her progressive beliefs. When Dee enters the home and begins examining the traditional, handmade objects, she would comment on their artistic and cultural value as rare artifacts. After Mama refuses to allow Dee to take the traditional quilts, she would complain about Maggie putting them to everyday use and comment on Maggie's inability to appreciate her heritage. Given Dee's proud, arrogant personality, she would continue to complain about Mama and Dee's lack of understanding and remark on their backward lifestyle. By making Mrs. Johnson the narrator, Walker critiques the progressive Black Nationalism viewpoint and supports a more nuanced view of African heritage from Mrs. Johnson and Maggie's perspective.