What is Maggie's conflict in the short story "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker?

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Maggie's conflict is both with her sister, Dee, and herself. Unlike Dee, who is smart, attractive, and determined to rise above her family's impoverished socioeconomic status, Maggie is shy, lacks self confidence, and has been permanently marked by her experience in a fire that burned their house to the ground. Of course, Maggie resents Dee for her sense of "style" and her escape to the city, but Maggie's real problem is that she has no self esteem. When Dee asks for the quilts that had been set aside for her, Maggie agrees to let Dee take them, "like somebody used to never winning anything, or having anything reserved for her." It's all to easy for her to cave in to her sister.

It's clear that Dee's new found enthusiasm for her country upbringing is a pose, just like (the story suggests) her new Muslim name. Her visit is about looting the house of "artifacts," much in the same way Lord Elgin looted the Elgin Marbles from Athens. In other words, Dee is ironically a kind of colonizer or...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 714 words.)

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