What is the distinction between Mama's use of the churn and Dee's purposed use of it in "Everyday Use"?

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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For Dee, the churn and its parts are primitive objets d'art. She wants to make a nice centerpiece with the top. For Mama, the churn is more than just an everyday utensil. It is a part of her history. Uncle Buddy whittled the churn top, and Aunt Dee's first husband, Henry (who was called Stash), whittled the dasher.

When she finished wrapping the dasher the handle stuck out. I took it for a moment in my hands. You didn't even have to look close to see where hands pushing the dasher up and down to make butter had left a kind of sink in the wood. In fact, there were a lot of small sinks; you could see where thumbs and fingers had sunk into the wood. It was beautiful light yellow wood, from a tree that grew in the yard where Big Dee and Stash had lived.

Every time Mama and Maggie used the churn, their fingers would rest in the sinks left by family members who had used it before. Dee wants it just because of the attention having it will bring her. Dee wants it for materialistic reasons. Mama and Maggie want it for sentimental reasons.

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