What do you think is the central theme of this story? How does the direct and indirect characterization of the characters work to show this meaning?

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writergal06 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The central theme of Everyday Use is the importance of appreciating the practical and useful aspects of living rather than simply the superficial aspects of it. This theme can be seen in the development of the three main character. The mother describes herself as being a hard worker, always given to physical labor and not very educated. She clearly favors her smart, extravagant daughter, living in awe of all that Dee has been able to accomplish. Maggie, however, is largely overlooked at the beginning. As the fight over the quilts ensues, it becomes obvious that Dee just wants to have the quilts because they make her seem like she is connected to her heritage, whereas Maggie will actually use and appreciate the history of the quilts. This reemphasizes the theme.