Everyday Use

The story “Everyday Use” is about an African American family consisting of the Mom, Wangero(Dee), and Maggie. Wangero is the oldest and Maggie is the youngest, their mothers name is not said in the story they just call her Mom.

Maggie feels like everyone always chooses Wangero’s side over hers and she doesn’t like that. Wangero’s name was Dee but she changed it because she said it reminded her of her heritage and those who oppressed her. When reading “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, I came across a conflict that happened in the story. The conflict that I will be talking about is when Wangero did not want her mom to give Maggie the quilts that were passed down from their ancestors. In the next few paragraphs I will be talking about who I agreed and disagreed with in this conflict and why.

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I do believe a few characters in this story handled the situation better than others. I also think some characters’ actions influenced other characters and I will be telling you why and if I think it had a positive or negative effect. This conflict started when Wangero told her mother to not give Maggie the quilts. The reason Wangero did not want Maggie to receive the quilts was because they used to belong to her grandma.Wangero argued that she did not think Maggie was capable of taking care of the quilts properly. Mom, however, thought that Maggie was capable of taking care of the quilts and actually putting them to good use.

They both disagreed on who would get the quilts, but finally mom decided to let Maggie keep them. I honestly think Wangero was wrong and very hypocritical because she changed her name from Dee to Wangero because Dee reminded her of the history of her culture; yet she claimed to want the quilts because of their cultural and historical importance.Mom even said, “I had offered Dee a quilt when she went away to college. Then she had told me they were old-fashioned, out of style.”First of all, Wangero should have appreciated many parts of her culture but she didn’t.

What made her change her mind on the appearance of the quilts? It could have been that she actually did care about some parts of her culture, maybe the good things about it. Or she probably matured and realized that she should appreciate it. I definitely agree with mom because I do think Maggie would actually take care of them and appreciate the quilts more than Wangero. I think mom should have handled the situation differently even though I agreed with her side of the conflict. She should have never let Wangero act disrespectfully and try to control mom’s decisions; Wangero is younger than mom therefore, she should have respected her. I think if Wangero would have been nicer, Maggie’s feelings would have never been hurt.

Many problems could have been avoided, but I think Wangero was just too difficult to deal with.However, I’m glad mom decided to give Maggie the quilts because she truly deserved them. It definitely was unfair how Wangero acted very demanding and controlling. I also think Maggie is very caring and kind. However, she should have stood up for herself and told her mom what she really thought.

I like how Maggie was always calm and respectful even though she wasn’t always treated very fairly. I really think Wangero has some learning to do from her younger sister Maggie. Then again we each have our own perspectives and Wangero’s perspective was very difficult to understand. I definitely think Wangero was only trying to remember the good parts of her culture but it is complicated to understand why she treated some people unfairly. Finally, Im very glad that Mom gave the quilts to Maggie and hopefully Wangero reflects on this.