Woven Together Essay

945 words - 4 pages

In America many people can be classified as immigrants, unless one has Native American blood, but recognizing one’s heritage from a different country doesn’t mean that one should give up the history of being a citizen of the United States. Alice Walker’s short story “Everyday Use”, examines the Cultural Revolution that occurred in the 70’s for African Americans, and how one can embrace their ethnic heritage but not lose one’s family’s past. Walker represents the two points of view with how the two sisters are represented. Maggie is scarred, weak, and beaten down, but caring, and sweet. Dee is strong minded, a beauty, and is portrayed as larger-than-life, but she is also demanding and ...view middle of the document...

“Then she turned to Maggie, kissed her, and said, ‘You ought to try to make something of yourself, too. It’s really a new day for us, (816) as a way of saying that she wants to sister to embrace their African past.

In the story, Maggie is the underdog, and the weaker character in the story. As an audience member, most people want Maggie to “win” the quilts instead of her sister who is demanding them now that they are considered “priceless” by the current fashion. Through most of the story, Maggie doesn’t speak, but when she does, she says this “‘she can have them, Mama,’ like somebody used to never winning anything, or having anything reserved for her. ‘I can ‘member Grandma Dee without the quilts.’”(816). Furthermore, as the audience reads on, a stronger connection with Maggie is built. “It was Grandma Dee and Big Dee who taught her how to quilt herself” (816), was written so that audience members will understand that Maggie has an emotional connection with these quilts that Dee (Wangero) selfishly doesn’t notice. Maggie is an embodiment of American past for African Americans; she’s scarred by a fire as the past is marred by slavery, but also represent the little pleasures that the slaves had such as quilting.

The Mother of Dee (Wangero) and Maggie isn’t given a name, but is the central character of the story. She must make the choice of to whom she is going to pass on the family “history” or the quilts. When Dee (Wangero) is almost forcibly trying to take the quilts, her mother tries to tell her that “‘[she] promised to give them quilts to Maggie, for when she marries John Thomas’” (815), but...

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