In Alice Walker
's short story "Everyday Use
," Dee is portrayed as a supercilious, progressive woman who outwardly embraces her African heritage and is severely critical of Mama and Maggie's rural lifestyle. When Dee returns to Mama's home, she has changed her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo to dissociate herself from the former slave masters who named her ancestors. However, Dee fails to recognize that the family name functions as their identity and has been passed down through generations. Dee also desires to use Mama's family heirlooms as artistic display pieces and views the traditional quilts as priceless artifacts. Her affection for the quilts is not genuine and her perception of her family's history is significantly skewed. She views her heritage as a dead past, which is distant and nostalgic.
Unlike her sister, Dee, Maggie is a timid, unattractive woman who is not educated or ambitious. However, Maggie possesses a solid understanding of her family history and recognizes that her...
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