Everyday Use Questions and Answers

Everyday Use

Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” is rich with figurative language to enhance the story of tensions (tradition versus progess) within an African American family. The story opens with a metaphor: I...

Latest answer posted April 10, 2021, 4:53 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Everyday Use

The main conflict in the story is cultural. Dee, the more "perfect" daughter, has transcended her humble farm roots to become an educated, urban intellectual, an upward trajectory our society...

Latest answer posted March 7, 2021, 10:45 am (UTC)

5 educator answers

Everyday Use

Maggie is "homely," shy, and has scars from her burns. Dee is lighter, "with nicer hair and a fuller figure." Maggie looks at Dee with "envy and awe." Maggie feels that life has always been easier...

Latest answer posted October 25, 2015, 5:26 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Everyday Use

This passage contributes to our understanding of Maggie because it shows that she is a person who knows—and who cares to know and remember—her family's personal history. Her sister, Dee, does not...

Latest answer posted May 4, 2020, 2:29 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Everyday Use

Perhaps the key element of the short story, characterization is employed by authors in order to move the action of the plot forward with conflicts and actions that develop the story's theme....

Latest answer posted January 29, 2017, 10:11 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Everyday Use

After leaving home, Dee spent time researching her African ancestry and decided that she could no longer bear being named after her "oppressors." This statement greatly troubles her mother, who...

Latest answer posted September 27, 2020, 11:45 am (UTC)

5 educator answers

Everyday Use

Mama, the narrator, ultimately gives the family quilts to Maggie instead of Dee (Wangero) because she recognizes that Dee gets everything she wants, that she's even already claimed the quilts as...

Latest answer posted July 11, 2016, 12:31 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Everyday Use

In "Everyday Use," Dee wants the quilts because she wants to preserve them as artifacts of her family's heritage. The quilts were made by women in the family, and the cloth came from scraps of...

Latest answer posted February 20, 2016, 12:06 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Everyday Use

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...

Latest answer posted May 19, 2020, 2:02 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Everyday Use

I would argue that the setting of this short story is of the utmost importance, because it provides a clear illustration of the different life choices that have been made by Mama, Maggie, and Dee....

Latest answer posted September 13, 2020, 10:51 am (UTC)

4 educator answers

Everyday Use

In "Everyday Use," Dee asks to have two quilts that were made by relatives. However, Mama explains that she plans to give the quilts to Maggie. Dee becomes upset and claims that Maggie will not...

Latest answer posted August 17, 2018, 3:08 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Everyday Use

In this story, Dee, the oldest daughter of the family, has become ashamed of her heritage and where she comes from. Mama is aware of this. She also understands that Dee is more beautiful, clever,...

Latest answer posted September 26, 2020, 11:26 am (UTC)

5 educator answers

Everyday Use

The short story "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker is told in first person by a poor African American woman who has two daughters. The younger one, Maggie, lives with her. Maggie is simple-minded, shy,...

Latest answer posted May 4, 2020, 2:16 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Everyday Use

In "Everyday Use," the mother dreams about appearing on a television show with her daughter, Dee. In the dream, the mother describes herself as being exactly what her daughter would want her to be;...

Latest answer posted April 4, 2018, 4:27 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Everyday Use

The location of the story is never explicitly specified. It takes place on a farm in a rural area. The narrator and her youngest daughter, Maggie, live in small shack with a tin roof in the middle...

Latest answer posted May 30, 2020, 12:08 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Everyday Use

The primary difference between Dee's attitude and her mother and sister's attitudes can be summed up in Mama's simple statement that "Dee wanted nice things." Mama describes Dee as someone with a...

Latest answer posted September 30, 2020, 10:57 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

Everyday Use

Mrs. Johnson narrates the short story "Everyday Use" and is depicted as a sincere, genuine woman, who loves her children deeply and understands the importance of her family's complex heritage. Mrs....

Latest answer posted September 25, 2020, 2:32 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Everyday Use

In American culture as well as other cultures, a patchwork quilt represents a labor of love, as well as resourcefulness and often a glimpse into a family's past. Quilts became well-known as both an...

Latest answer posted September 5, 2020, 11:06 am (UTC)

5 educator answers

Everyday Use

As an extension of the main idea that heritage exists in everyday experiences and everyday objects, I would also like to stress Walker's usage of the adverb "everyday" to indicate that heritage is...

Latest answer posted April 19, 2018, 2:23 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Everyday Use

When Mama tells Dee that she's already promised the family quilts to Maggie, Dee actually calls Maggie "backward" because Maggie would put the quilts to "everyday use." This is precisely what Mama...

Latest answer posted August 25, 2018, 1:03 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Everyday Use

Imagery is description that uses any of the five senses. In this story, Mama, the narrator, uses much visual imagery to set the scene and emphasize the contrast between her life and the life of...

Latest answer posted September 27, 2020, 11:57 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Everyday Use

Mama's relationship with Dee in this story is complex, and the reader senses that it has always been difficult. The way Mama remembers Dee as a child—particularly her memory of Dee's "look of...

Latest answer posted February 27, 2018, 4:39 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Everyday Use

For Mama Johnson, the narrator, the butter churn and the dasher remind her of her family, especially of those individuals who made them by hand. These are items that feel essential to her and her...

Latest answer posted August 7, 2016, 6:28 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Everyday Use

The quilts represent an intimate bond to community and family identity for Maggie and Mrs. Johnson. To a great extent, the quilt embodies the personalized connection that both mother and daughter...

Latest answer posted January 30, 2014, 1:58 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Everyday Use

Maggie believes that Dee has not been exposed to any real struggles, and to some extent, she is jealous of her sister. Maggie is of the opinion that she has sacrificed a lot for her sister’s...

Latest answer posted September 6, 2017, 10:17 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Everyday Use

At this moment in “Everyday Use,” Mama had been “hit” with a deep understanding of the nature of her two daughters, and with the knowledge of who the rightful owner of the quilts was. Hearing...

Latest answer posted November 1, 2020, 11:00 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

Everyday Use

One of the most prominent literary techniques that Alice Walker uses in "Everyday Use" is irony. Dee's lack of understanding of her own heritage makes her final comment to her mother ironic when...

Latest answer posted November 19, 2019, 12:42 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

Everyday Use

In "Everyday Use," Alice Walker explores the theme of cultural identity through depicting a conflict between two sisters, Dee and Maggie, over a family quilt. When the story begins, Dee returns...

Latest answer posted February 6, 2020, 6:34 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Everyday Use

In her short story “Everyday Use,” Alice Walker uses a first-person narrator who is the mother of two very different daughters. One has stayed home near her mother in their rural Southern...

Latest answer posted January 28, 2021, 5:51 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Everyday Use

The old house that burned and caused Maggie to be burned and disfigured is symbolic of the older part of their life, the part that Dee wanted to escape so badly. Although she is not happy that...

Latest answer posted September 19, 2012, 9:25 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Everyday Use

A good thesis statement will make some kind of arguable claim that can be defended with evidence from the text (i.e. quotations) as well as offer some idea of how that claim will be argued. You...

Latest answer posted November 13, 2019, 6:40 pm (UTC)

12 educator answers

Everyday Use

The major conflict of "Everyday Use" is between Mama and her daughter, Dee (Wangero). There seems always to have been an antagonism between Dee and Mama and her other daughter, Maggie. Mama...

Latest answer posted March 5, 2016, 2:24 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Everyday Use

The narrative of Alice Walker's short story "Everyday Use" hovers around the decision of which of a mother's daughters will receive the family's heirloom quilts. Maggie and Dee are the narrator's...

Latest answer posted September 21, 2016, 3:27 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Everyday Use

In Alice Walker's celebrated short story "Everyday Use," the theme of cultural identity and heritage is explored through Dee's rejection of her traditional family name and the characters'...

Latest answer posted February 7, 2020, 3:51 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

Everyday Use

The tone of a story concerns the attitude of the narrator or character toward the subject matter or the attitude of the author toward the subject matter. In “Everyday Use,” we would describe tone...

Latest answer posted January 23, 2008, 8:58 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Everyday Use

Mama imagines such a talk show program, where "the mother and father weep, the child wraps them in her arms and leans across the table to tell how she would not have made it without their help."...

Latest answer posted August 4, 2018, 3:58 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Everyday Use

In Alice Walker's "Everyday Use," the quilts represent a static art for Dee, one that can be framed like a museum piece. For Maggie, the quilts have a functional and sentimental beauty, and they...

Latest answer posted September 21, 2017, 6:07 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Everyday Use

The irony in "Everyday Use" is that Dee, who has a shallow idea of what heritage is, actually believes that her family fails to understand their heritage. Dee believes that heritage is all about...

Latest answer posted September 26, 2020, 11:31 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Everyday Use

Dee is determined and successful. She aims to be a modern woman who is worldly, cultured, and educated. When she goes to college, she learns of her African heritage and embraces it, thus...

Latest answer posted October 13, 2015, 3:52 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Everyday Use

There are some basic similarities between the two mother-daughter relationships. Both daughters receive love and acceptance from their mother. She accepts the girls' very opposite lifestyles. She...

Latest answer posted July 11, 2017, 2:23 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Everyday Use

Figures of speech allow speakers to say things more vividly and forcefully than if they were to simply say something directly. Besides having the freshness to their ideas that using figures of...

Latest answer posted September 26, 2011, 2:49 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Everyday Use

One other point is interesting in regard to Walker's choice of "Wangero" as signifying Dee's new African identity (as opposed to her identity with her family):  the name was...

Latest answer posted June 29, 2007, 6:07 am (UTC)

4 educator answers

Everyday Use

While none of the three women in "Everyday Use" change, as you say, from beginning to end, the mother reaches a realization near the end of the story, and, thus, she is the only character who may...

Latest answer posted April 23, 2009, 11:50 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Everyday Use

It is arguable that both Dee and the rest of the family see value in the family's possessions, but they do so for radically different reasons. The benches, butter churn, and quilts have all been...

Latest answer posted July 20, 2020, 7:37 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Everyday Use

Unfortunately you have asked more than one question. Enotes regulations specifies you are only able to ask one, so I have edited your question to focus on the resolution of the plot. Remember that...

Latest answer posted October 25, 2010, 9:45 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Everyday Use

In addressing themes of heritage and culture, a conclusion could be made by showing how certain characters interpret those themes. Maggie and Mrs. Johnson appreciate their culture and heritage in a...

Latest answer posted August 20, 2013, 4:52 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Everyday Use

Mama's refusal to give Dee the quilts indicates a permanent change in her perspective on her daughters. When she looks over at Maggie, who has already said that Dee could take the quilts which Mama...

Latest answer posted April 25, 2018, 12:23 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Everyday Use

In "Everyday Use," it is important that Mama is the narrator: Mrs. Johnson is the narrator of this story, overseeing its events and interpreting, more through her actions than her words, their...

Latest answer posted June 15, 2012, 8:10 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Everyday Use

Dee comes to visit to appropriate many of the handmade items that Mama and Maggie use every day. After years of finding her family embarrassingly backward, Dee regards the objects that her family...

Latest answer posted June 18, 2017, 1:45 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Everyday Use

Alice Walker's "Everyday Use" provides insight into the importance of heritage and legacy to not only African-American but to all families. There is a problem in this family which stems from two...

Latest answer posted September 25, 2012, 8:30 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

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