Every Day Use
Maggie is the younger daughter of Mrs. Johnson. She was actually perceived to be the more humble one compared to her sister Dee. She was even considered to be less expressive compared to her older sister.
She was more of a reserved individual who intends to stay within the limits that has been given to her by those other standing around her. It could be observed that somehow, the idea on how she developed as one of the most important characters in the story has been guided well by the presentation of her mother’s gradual assistance on the part of introducing her into a lighter side of the story.Dee, her sister was presented in a rather different characterization as her. As outgoing as Dee is, she has been characterized as a strong girl who believed in something and further acts upon whatever she intend to believe in. Practically, it could be sensed that her strong conviction of something actually pushes her to move towards convincing everyone else to believe the matters that she basically aims to present to the society. Apparently, she got this strong conviction from her grandmother Dee.
It could be noticed that this character of Dee placed her in a rather central position in the story of Walker.However, although the case presents Dee as the central figure of the narration, Maggie has been utilized to represent the exact opposite of the personality of her sister. It could be seen that somehow, her opposition to the characterization of her sister creates a more definite understanding of the major role that she intends to play in the story. Truthfully, the way she clings to tradition naturally makes her more of a strong willed person who wanted to stick to the legacy of her ancestors. Apparently, through this she was giving more importance to the meaning of her ancestor’s understanding of life. Her existence in the story creates a more plausible balance that shows the two distinct perceptions of the personal identification on the part of the comparison that exists between Dee and Maggie.
Maggie’s understanding about the importance of the family’s traditions and culture made her more convincingly able to make a stand for what she believes in. Apparently, the connection of Dee to the modern world made her lose the actual implication of what her history creates on her current being. She further sees through the idea of naturally being able to fit in within the new society even when it means giving up traditions and giving way to the modern elements of the society to take control of her life. Maggie on the other hand paid much attention to the importance that she provides the heir loom that represents their family’s reputation and identification [the quilt]. This is the reason why in the end, Mrs.
Johnson took the quilt away from Dee who viewed the quilt as a fashion statement and returned them to Maggie. Mrs. Johnson knew that her daughters have different views of the quilt’s role in their lives and their personal being; and she knew that Maggie’s understanding of its importance should be given better attention to. Mrs. Johnson knew that the heir loom would have a better effect on the respect that is supposed to be paid by the generations of their family towards the said item that defines their reputation as a member of the African race.
Yes, through proper identification, it has been seen how Alice Walker intended to show how important the recognition of the traditional background is especially on the part of the current generations so as to preserve the importance that history has on the current human living system at present.