Questions and Answers for Everyday Use

Everyday Use

What is the main conflict in "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker?

The main conflict in Alice Walker's short story "Everyday Use" might be seen as the choice that the mother needs to make in how she treats her two very different daughters. To me, the...

Latest answer posted January 6, 2010 10:25 pm UTC

3 educator answers

Everyday Use

What are some examples of figurative language in Walker's "Everyday Use"?

Instances of simile, metaphor, and implied metaphor appear in "Everyday Use." Figurative language has many effects. One is to make a complex and idea (by nature abstract) spring to life in a more...

Latest answer posted March 22, 2009 10:29 am UTC

1 educator answer

Everyday Use

How does Alice Walker use direct/indirect characterization to relate to the theme in "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

In Everyday Use, according to Mama, how are Dee and Maggie different?

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

What is the tone of "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

Why does Dee change her name in Alice Walker's "Everyday Use?"

In Alice Walker's "Everyday Use," the narrator speaks of herself, her home and her two very different daughters. There had been a fire ten or twelve years before that had harmed Mrs. Johnson's...

Latest answer posted September 19, 2016 10:39 pm UTC

3 educator answers

Everyday Use

How does Mama change at the story's climax, and what is the meaning of that change?

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

Why does the narrator give Maggie the quilts?

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

What is the meaning of the title "Everyday Use"?

In this short story, Mama has to make a decision about which of her daughters should inherit a couple of quilts, which are really family heirlooms containing pieces of their shared history. No...

Latest answer posted January 17, 2020 2:24 am UTC

4 educator answers

Everyday Use

In "Everyday Use," why does Dee want the quilts?

Dee wants the old quilts for several reasons but mainly because she wants to display them as part of her "heritage" in her home in the city. She does not believe that they are appreciated in the...

Latest answer posted February 22, 2010 5:29 am UTC

1 educator answer

Everyday Use

Describe the narrator in "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker.

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

2 educator answers

Everyday Use

Why does Dee think that Mama and Maggie don't understand their heritage in "Everyday Use"?

When Dee/Wangero tells her mother, "You just don't understand...your heritage," she implies that hand-made artistic items in their family should be put on display instead of being used. Even before...

Latest answer posted April 6, 2017 12:58 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Everyday Use

Please explain some figures of speech in "Everyday Use"? I have to present about figures of speech in this story, but...

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

What is a good thesis statement about "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker?

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

Describe the relationship between Maggie and Dee in "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker.

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

How does the following passage from "Everyday Use" contribute to readers' understanding of Maggie? "'Aunt Dee’s first...

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

How important is the setting of "Everyday Use" to the plot?

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

Describe the major conflict in "Everyday Use" and why it occurred.  

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

Describe Mama's relationship with Dee in "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

What are literary elements used in "Everyday Use," and how do they enhance the theme of the story?

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

What makes the quilts valuable to Dee? What makes the quilts valuable to Maggie?

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

What is Dee's attitude toward her heritage compared with the attitudes of her mother and sister in "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

In "Everyday Use," what does the mother's dream about going on a game show reveal about her relationship with Dee?

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 "Everyday Use," what do Dee and Maggie have in common? How are they different?

In Alice Walker's short story "Everyday Use," Dee and Maggie share little in common other than their parentage, background, and heritage. Dee and Maggie were both raised in the same lowly home in...

Latest answer posted February 3, 2020 4:45 pm UTC

3 educator answers

Everyday Use

What do the butter churn and the dasher symbolize for the narrator in "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

2 educator answers

Everyday Use

What does the quilt symbolize to the narrator and her daughter, Maggie?

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

How does Alice Walker explore cultural identity in her short story "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

How do Mama's feelings change toward Dee in "Everyday Use"?

At the beginning of the story, mama dreams about having some dramatic reunion with Dee where Dee credits her mother with helping her to achieve her life's goals. While mama is not oblivious to...

Latest answer posted May 4, 2016 10:28 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Everyday Use

Describe as fully as possible the lives of the mother, Dee, and Maggie prior to the events of the story,...

Dee did hate the old house, so much so that Mama implies that Dee might have burned it down. Perhaps it's a suspicion that Mama doesn't even realize she has. Symbolically, Dee wears bright colors...

Latest answer posted November 14, 2017 9:27 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Everyday Use

Discuss some of the literary devices in "Everyday Use."  What is the social conflict?

The social conflict in Walker's classic story is between different African American identities. Mrs. Johnson and her daughter Maggie represents a kind of social and historical continuity, while her...

Latest answer posted October 8, 2016 3:22 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Everyday Use

In "Everyday Use," what are Maggie and Dee's different attitudes toward heritage, and what do quilts symbolize in the...

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

Why does Dee take so many pictures?

In some respects, Dee takes so many pictures as a way to reflect her fundamental disconnect with her home. Dee detests her home. Such a sentiment caused her to leave in the first place. When she...

Latest answer posted March 2, 2014 10:45 pm UTC

1 educator answer

Everyday Use

What is Dee's present attitude toward her mother and sister, and how does the narrator feel about Dee?

Having embraced Cultural Nationalism, Dee has assumed an African name and dons clothing more reflective of African culture. She arrives not so much to visit her mother and sister but to declare her...

Latest answer posted February 17, 2017 11:30 am UTC

2 educator answers

Everyday Use

"When I looked at her like that something hit me in the top of my head and ran down to the soles of my feet." What...

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

In "Everyday Use," how has Dee changed since she has last seen her mother and sister?

When Dee returns, she seems to have developed quite an interest in certain aspects of her heritage. She seems very interested, now, in her racial heritage; she has changed her name to a much more...

Latest answer posted October 3, 2016 11:12 pm UTC

2 educator answers

Everyday Use

Compare and contrast the relationships between the mother and each of her daughters, Dee and Maggie, in ''Everyday...

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

Describe Dee Johnson's character in "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker. 

Wangero, the woman formerly known as Dee in Alice Walker's story, is on a quest to find her true identity. For Wangero, the fundamental truth of who she is must be located outside the rural South...

Latest answer posted February 12, 2020 7:53 am UTC

2 educator answers

Everyday Use

In "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker, what is ironic about her request for these objects and her new found interest in...

Dee Johnson believes that a person’s heritage has nothing to do with the family tradition. Her interest in the 1970s Black Muslim focuses on African names and dress. What Dee has forgotten is...

Latest answer posted May 19, 2013 2:50 am UTC

1 educator answer

Everyday Use

Who are Hakim-a-barber and John Thomas and what do the names suggest? this is from "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

In "Everyday Use," summarize the resolution of the plot.

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

What is the relationship between Dee and Maggie in Everyday Use?

The most basic relationship is that they are sisters. Dee is the older sister, Maggie the younger. However, there is more to them than this. Dee is the star: the family member who went away. She...

Latest answer posted September 12, 2015 3:34 am UTC

1 educator answer

Everyday Use

What is the climax in "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker?  

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

How does Dee's perspective on the family's possessions in "Everyday Use" compare to the rest of her family’s?

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

What conflicts exist between Dee and her mother and sister?

Various conflicts exist between Dee, her mother, and her sister, Maggie. The conflicts that rock the family seem to have started a long time ago. Dee despised their initial house, which got burnt...

Latest answer posted September 20, 2018 9:27 am UTC

1 educator answer

Everyday Use

What is a good conclusion for the short story "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker?

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

Where is "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker set?

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

What is the conflict and how is it resolved in "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker?

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

Everyday Use

Why is it important for Mama to be the narrator in "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

What are the values that are most important to Dee as opposed to those of Maggie in Alice Walker's story, "Everyday...

In Alice Walker's short story, "Everyday Use," Dee and Maggie are very different people, which becomes evident as they disagree over two old quilts that both young women want. Dee has left her...

Latest answer posted February 21, 2011 2:59 am UTC

1 educator answer

Everyday Use

Is the burned-out house symbolic in "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

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