In "Everyday Use," why is the mother reluctant to let Dee have the quilts?

Expert Answers
Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The mother is reluctant to let Dee have the quilts because they have been promised to Maggie who is about to be married. Also, she knows that Maggie cherishes the quilts as part of her family heritage. Maggie's tender feelings are shown clearly when she speaks so lovingly of her grandmother who made one of the quilts. Dee, however, values them only as material possessions, objects of art that she can carry away to hang on her walls where they will look fashionable in a folk-art kind of way. Although Maggie is prepared to give them up, her mother will not allow it. The quilts will go to Maggie, where they will be treasured.