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Maggie's Everyday Use Essay

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After evaluating the short story “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, I came to the conclusion that the narrator made the right choice of giving her daughter, Maggie, the family quilts. Dee (Wangero), her older sister was qualified for the quilts as well, but in my opinion Maggie is more deserving. Throughout the story, the differences between the narrator’s two daughters are shown in different ways. The older daughter, Dee (Wangero), is educated and outgoing, whereas Maggie is shy and a homebody. I agree with the narrator’s decision because of Maggie’s good intentions for the quilts and her innocent behavior. In my opinion Dee (Wangero) is partially superficial and always gets what she wants.
In the beginning of the story, Dee (Wangero) is introduced as someone that needs to be impressed. The narrator has a fantasy about being reunited with Dee (Wangero) (393). She is described as being beautiful and a wonderful daughter with many good qualities. Besides being beautiful, she is confident. Instead of feeling suppressed because of the color of her skin, she is able to look people in the eye (394). Dee (Wangero) is also educated and the way she talks shows it. She is also opinionated and her family is intimidated by it. Dee’s (Wangero’s) qualities are overall good qualities to have, but I feel like she uses them to act better than her family. The fact that she had changed her name to Wangero (397) and demanded the quilts while she was visiting made me feel that she was superficial. She did not even want the quilts when they were first offered to her before she went to college (400). I do not think it is right to change your family name and then come home and request family heirlooms. Dee (Wangero) always seems to get wha...


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...have been handed down from generation to generation, and that in itself is admirable. But since the narrator wants more for the quilts, I agree with her decision. I am sure the quilts would look nice hung on a wall, but I think that they would be enjoyed more on a bed or couch, as Maggie would use them. It is also what her grandma and other older generations would have wanted. These quilts were made to be used. And as they become tattered, she can repair them and even add to them. I think Maggie would get the most enjoyment of them.
As you can see, I strongly agree with the narrator of the story and her choice in giving Maggie the quilts. Dee (Wangero) has been given enough in her life. She has beauty, confidence and her education. Maggie has wonderful qualities too, but has been through hardships. All which make her more deserving of the family quilts.



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