Everyday use

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  • Publié le : 10 avril 2011
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Pauline Rabut
Everyday Use - Rough Draft
WRIT 161 - M04

The two girls don’t value the quilts in the same way because even if they are sisters, they didn’t grow up the same way, they don’t have the same level of education, and they don’t have the same values of family.

I don’t believe that you can love one of your child more than another one but I do believe that you can feelcloser to one. That’s what happens in Everyday Use. A mother has two girls, Maggie and Dee, but the two sisters are the complete opposite. One is shy whereas the other is self confident. From the beginning of the story, we can feel that the mother thinks that Dee - the self confident one - didn’t grow up the way she expected to and turned out to be a stranger to her. Dee was self confident,“hesitation was not part of her nature”, whereas her mother was the opposite of her, she “couldn’t even look a white man in the eyes.” She wanted nice things very young and soon became an independent and self confident woman: “ At sixteen she had a style of her own and knew what style was.”
The mother hardly had a proper education. She didn’t go to college, and ended up taking care alone of her twodaughters. As for Maggie, the younger one and obviously not the smartest one, she has always been “chin on chest, eyes on ground.” She got burned when the neighbor’s house took fire and now she’s ashamed of the scars on her legs and arms.
When the neighbor’s house was burning, Dee was watching the “spectacle” whereas her sister was almost dying. I think that’s when Maggie’s mom started to see Deedifferently. The mother never had an education. She looks like Maggie. Even Maggie looked smarter than her: “sometimes Maggie read to me.” Dee was really different from her mom and sister. Her mom was “a big boned woman with rough, man-working hands,” Maggie was “chin on chest, eyes on ground.”

Obviously, the mom never understood Dee. She says that until she got the money to send her to Augusta toschool, Dee “used to forcing words, lies, other folks habits, whole lives upon us two, sitting sitting trapped and ignorant underneath her voice.” It’s like if there was Dee against her sister and her mom. It’s often like that in families. Out of two sister, one is often very different from the other and doesn’t feel being at the right place in the family. Dee was full of knowledge and wanted toshow her mom and her sister how clever she was comparing to them. The mother is aware that Maggie is not the smartest person on earth. Actually, it’s really weird how she talks about her daughter. One is too “superficial” and the other “knows she’s not bright.” So you have a girl who don’t want to let appear that she comes from a poor African American family and does her best to almost deny whereshe comes from just to be accepted by society, and another one who struggles to help her mother reading and doing the best she can to be a good daughter. The mother is just waiting for Maggie to get married with a random guy. It will free her from being a mother. I think she’s just bored being a mother. She gave birth to two children, two totally different children, and she’s just lost. She doesn’tknow why they are so different from each other. She loves them both but in the meantime she hates them both and just wants her freedom. I guess she’s disappointed by both of them. One got married to the man she wanted because she’s bright, the other will marry a guy “who has mossy teeth in an earnest face.”
In the story, quilts are like a ring that you got from your mom who got it from her momwho got it from her mom and so on… It’s a legacy, an heritage. But the problem is that the mom has to decide which girl deserves it. In the author’s mind - the mom - the quilts belong to Maggie. She has always been there for her. Dee was different; she got married to a man her mom didn’t know anything about and lived her life without worrying about her family. She even changed her named from...
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