This is the struggle that we see Mama and Maggie face in this short story. Either of the essays above could be a springboard into research into the civil rights movement, specifically, the , the rise of an to Christianity for African-Americans, Black nationalism and Afrocentrism, and even W. Dee, outgoing and well dressed daughter with a nicer figure than Maggie. Even though the characters are portrayed as tragic, Alice walker was trying to make a point here. Take our free Everyday Use quiz below, with 25 multiple choice questions that help you test your knowledge. First, there is Maggie, the young daughter who is shy, not attractive and is content with her culture and life. The other two keep their firm ground in living out their culture, rather than using it simply as a conversation starter.
What does one do, in turn, with the skill, once acquired besides use it to make quilts? Pressed us to her with the serious way she read, to shove us away at just the moment, like dimwits, we seemed about to understand. For Dee, she can see that her family is settling to live in poverty. Like when you see the wriggling end of a snake just in front of your foot on the road. This fact alone gives us some insight into the personality of Mama; she is a strong mother and the leader of the household, the moral compass of the family giving insight into what ought to be done amongst the family. These are the protagonists in the story. Did she really value those items because of the cultural meaning behind them or the value brought by the Movement? Still, like other books, I do feel that there were points of unnecessary dullness and some details that didn't seem to have a place in the tale. They only want to display their heritage items in a false attempt at showing they care.
I love teaching this excellent short story by Alice Walker, and I have to say that researching images of quilts to use for this blog post has been a great experience for me. Alice Walker gained a worldwide reputation for her famous novel, The Color Purple, published in 1982, for which she won a Pulitzer Prize and the American Book Award in 1983. Dee increasingly rebukes her own heritage for the ideas and rhetoric of the new Black Pride movement. The quilts contain small pieces of garments worn by relatives all the way back to the Civil War. No matter how far one reaches from their goals and dreams you should always stay humble. The mystery was shown by the.
That should remain a question. Dee shows up all high fashioned and with a new name. My hair glistens in the hot bright lights. Your job then is to spell out what in particular is valuable about the quilts, for Dee and Maggie, and to show how this illuminates the difference between their general systems of values. For Dee, she sees it as a decorative piece from her ancestors she can add to.
Mama gets up and tries to tell Dee more about the garments used to make the quilts, but Dee steps out of reach. Imagining an alternate ending: The second research route into the short story would be through the long -ish lens of history since the short story was written. Could this story just as well have been about a white mother and her daughters? However, after she went back from college, she totally changed. The first character we are introduced to in the story is the mother. What role did she assume for herself? I think the real problem is that they never got the closure they needed, they never understood each other nor took the time to talk about their feelings. The quilt was put together by pieces of cloths by Grandma Dee and the finishing touches were provided by Big Dee Dee's aunt and Mrs.
What elements prepare the reader for Dee before she arrives on the scene? When the beautiful quilts made by the women of Gee's Bend, Alabama arrived at the Whitney Museum in New York, they were greeted with ecstatic praise by the art community. She was the first African American woman to earn these two awards. Whereas Mama is sheepish about the thought of looking a white man in the eye, Dee is more assertive. Discuss the relationship between Maggie and Dee. That is: does the explicit story disclose any facts along the way that might enable us to construct in our minds another pair of stories, as to how these two radically different persons came to be? Maggie is intimidated by Dee; solely since Dee carries many accomplishments and her appearance. Also, my assumption is greatly backed up by these two statements. She was the first African American woman to earn these two awards.
Yet, did she really change? Hope you enjoy the short story and making connections to it is really helpful unfortunately, I was not able to do that very well. In the story Mama does not sympathize with Dee. Heritage there are different ways to view heritage; traditions can be used to tell the story of a family's heritage. This is the struggle that we see Mama and Maggie face in this short story. A playwright-in-residence of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, , even wrote a play-- Gee's Bend--about the quilters, a play that has been performed at venues all around the country.
Rejection of the family history, appreciation of only good material things and selfishness is what makes Dee's understanding of what true heritage wrong. Is this voice able to report on the subjective experience on one but only one of the characters? It is obvious that Maggie will not only need the quilts but will actually use them and not merely display them. She mention that the Dee was the oldest one and was educated and full of confidence while the youngest one Maggie was very shy ever since the old house they had burn down. Mama is the single mother of her two daughters, Dee and Maggie. In the end Dee may have been right about her mother and sister never knowing how life is changing for their people, but as long as they are keeping in touch with who they really are that does not matter to them. Mama remembers the way she looked as the house was burning. The idea of only one person benefiting out of this whole situation is catastrophic and ironically egoistic.
Is wanting to be common all that wrong? What are other ways to interpret this sound? Maggie is the one that has stayed by Mamas side and I believe she is following her steps, and Dee is the one that dreams big and goes for her dreams. Throughout the story Walker shows the different sides of culture and heritage. The fact that Dee changes her name to an African one, is another example of her trying to identify with her heritage. In many different cultures there are a variety of customs that follow along with the generations. Directions: Click on the correct answer. It may not be possible to specify exactly where, but you ought to try to come up with some reasonably specific sense of where and when we are to imagine the action of the story taking place. She comes back and has also brought so much knowledge of their culture for Mama and Maggie.