Everyday Use Questions and Answers
by Alice Walker

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In "Everyday Use," how would you describe the way that Dee reacts to the food and objects in her mother’s house? Discuss Dee’s mother’s and sister’s reactions to her new persona, “Wangero.” Do you sympathize with them?

Dee reacts to her mother's food and the traditional objects in her home with delight and reverence. Dee has a newfound affinity for handcrafted antique items, which represent her family's African heritage and legacy. Dee embraces Pan-Africanism and supports the Black Consciousness movement. She even changes her name to "Wangero" and possesses an arrogant, supercilious attitude. Mama and Maggie are confused by Dee's new persona, and the audience sympathizes with them for genuinely understanding their complex heritage and background.

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Once Dee arrives at her mother's home, she introduces herself as Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo and claims that she has finally shed the name of her ancestors' oppressors, which Mama finds confusing and a bit ridiculous. Dee carries herself with an air of superiority, and her new persona offends Mama and Maggie, who are portrayed as humble, meek individuals. After dinner, Dee seems to have a newfound admiration and affinity for her mother's cooking and the antique objects in her home. Mama mentions that Dee thoroughly enjoyed the home-cooked meal and her daughter delights over the handcrafted benches and chairs. Dee continues to praise the other traditional handcrafted items in Mama's home by commenting on Grandma Dee's butter dish and asking to have the churn top and dasher, which were made by her Uncle Buddy and Aunt Dee's first husband, Stash.

Dee "Wangero" also desires to have the traditional quilts made by Grandma Dee and Big Dee and is upset when Mama refuses to give them to her. Dee...

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