Student Question

Who did you side with in the conflict between Dee and Mama/Maggie in "Everyday Use"?

Quick answer:

Dee and Mama have a huge bust-up, with Mama saying she wishes she'd never met Dee and Dee saying that Mama is now dead to her. Maggie then arrives and says that she will take the quilts if Dee doesn't want them, but Dee refuses to let her have them either. She then accuses Maggie of being cheap because she's not prepared to pay the $500 asking price for the quilts (although we know from the previous answers that they're worth far more than that), prompting Maggie to tell her off for her lack of respect for their cultural value, which she labels as "a load of old junk". The girls then call a truce in order to smooth things over with Papa but it doesn'

Expert Answers

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Dee clearly shows that she does not understand or appreciate the piece of living history that the quilts represent to Mama - note the way Mama lovingly describes how her descendants used pieces of their old clothes to lovingly sew together the quilt. Dee just wants something that looks pretty, and her arrogance in assuming that she will get them beggars belief. Maggie is someone who will value the past of her family that Dee is so eager to jettison, and therefore it is Maggie who deserves the quilts.

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Maggie is my choice as well.  Dee is spoiled rotten and I don't like her flashy beau.  Her reasons for coming home and demanding the items that are rightfully Maggie's are warped at best.  Maggie's life hasn't been as thrilling as Dee's, but she is absolutely happier.  She deserves to have the things promised to her without her "I want what I want when I want it" sister popping in to claim them in the eleventh hour.

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I have to side with Maggie, even though she won't side with herself. She lets Dee just walk all over her and take whatever she wants. You almost want to jump in and push Dee out of the way. But isn't it interesting that Maggie is the one who is engaged to be married and Dee is the one with the boyfriend of the moment?!

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I absolutely side with Mama and Maggie.  Dee, in my opinion, simply did not truly appreciate her heritage, nor did she really KNOW her heritage.  She did not want to.  She only wanted to quilts and butter churn, etc., because she wanted to display them like some sort of museum pieces.  This is ironic because she was so ashamed of her mother and sister's home and her upbringing.  She wants things in the house, but was ashamed to be raised there.  I view Dee as a truly out-of-touch person when it comes to her "roots" and who she really is.  She is clearly trying to be someone she is not.  She should embrace her upbringing and be proud of it!

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