Why do the mother and Maggie react awkwardly towards Dee in "Everyday Use"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Maggie and the mother react awkwardly towards Dee because of the inherent differences between their identities and culture. In addition, Maggie and the mother expected to see a modern woman because Dee went to a city college. Instead, Dee shows up in a long African dress and jangling earrings. Dee also changed her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo in reference to her African roots. All these changes came as a shock to both her mother and Maggie. Before she left for college, Dee was not happy with her family’s lifestyle or culture; upon her return, she seemed in touch with her origins. Dee asked for the butter churn her uncle made. She also asked for the handmade quilts pieced by her grandmother and assembled by her mother and her sister. The mother tells her the quilts were already promised to Maggie. Dee tries to take the quilts, but her mother takes them from her and offers her machine-stitched quilts instead.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team