Why did Dee leave home in "Everyday Use"?  

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Dee left home to go to college and to pursue a more sophisticated life.

Dee’s mother does not really understand Dee, but she realizes that her daughter is very different.

Dee wanted nice things. … Often I fought off the temptation to shake her. At sixteen she had a style of her own: and knew what style was.

Dee is embarrassed about her family and their simple home.  The house they lived in when she was a girl burned down, and the family built another simple house in its place.  This is enough for her mother, but not enough for Dee.

She wrote me once that no matter where we "choose" to live, she will manage to come see us. But she will never bring her friends. 

When Dee comes back to visit, she tells her mother that she is now Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo and Dee is dead, because she cannot stand being named after people who oppress her.  It turns out that Dee is an old family name, but her daughter does not seem to care.

Dee does not just leave home, she turns her back on it.  She does not seem to care for her mother, sister, or home.  She sees everything about the poverty they live in, and nothing about the love.  She simply does not understand her family.