Discuss the education of Dee in 'Everyday Use'.

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gpane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Dee, we are told, completed her high-school education away from home. We don't know what further education she may have had, but she has become filled with notions about political and social advancement to the extent of changing her identity.

However, despite her education Dee does not seem to have gained much in wisdom and understanding. Although she makes such a big deal of her heritage, she does so only in order to show off; and we are invited to laugh at her pretensions. She does not appreciate the true value of her heritage which continues in living form with her mother and sister. She acts as if the old ways, old traditions, are dead, to be preserved merely as relics.

Dee is too keen to thrust her ideas upon her mother and sister, lecturing them about their oppressed lives:

You ought to make something of yourself too, Maggie. It's really a new day for us. But from the way you and Mama still live you'd never know it.

Dee, then, urges Maggie to change her life as she, Dee, has done; but she doesn't stop to consider her sister's and mother's views. She feels herself to be a progressive and liberated young lady, but the story makes clear that she is deficient in real understanding.