Why does Dee want the quilts ?

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Dee wants to hang the quilts in her home. According to her mother, Dee says this "as if that was the only thing you could do with quilts." Mrs. Johnson tells her that she's promised the quilts to Maggie. Dee condescendingly says that Maggie "can't appreciate" the quilts. Dee fears Maggie will use them every day. This is an absurd argument because the quilts were intended for "everyday use."

Dee puts value in the quilts themselves. She says they are "priceless." Given that she simply wants to hang them as priceless artifacts, she views the quilts as pieces of art, things to be shown in a fashionable way. Dee's new affinity for her African heritage is admirable but it is also motivated by her desire to be modern and fashionable. Dee does not recognize that the cultural meaning and spirit behind the quilts is that it connects the women of the family. The metaphor of the quilt is quite fitting because it is stitched together just as family is connected together. Dee would use the quilts superficially whereas Maggie would use them for their intended purpose. The warmth a quilt provides is indicative of the love put into the quilt by preceding generations. If Dee hangs the quilt on the wall, she is literally and symbolically distancing herself from this family heritage. 

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