For everyday use

Use by Alice Walker I will wait for her in the yard that Maggie and I made so clean and wavy yesterday afternoon. A yard like this is more comfortable than most people know.

For everyday use

Mama fantasizes about reunion scenes on television programs in which a successful daughter embraces the parents who have made her success possible.

Whereas Mama is sheepish about the thought of looking a white man in the eye, Dee is more assertive. Mama remembers the house fire that happened more than a decade ago, when she carried Maggie, badly burned, out of the house.

Dee watched the flames engulf the house For everyday use despised. Back then, Mama believed that Dee hated Maggie, until Mama and the community raised enough money to send Dee to school in Augusta.

Mama resented the intimidating world of ideas and education that Dee forced on her family on her trips home. Mama never went to school beyond second grade.

Maggie can read only in a limited capacity. When Dee arrives, Mama grips Maggie to prevent her from running back into the house. Dee emerges from the car with her boyfriend, Hakim-a-barber. Hakim-a-barber greets and tries to hug Maggie, who recoils. Dee gets a camera from the car and takes a few pictures of Mama and Maggie in front of their house.

Dee tells her mother that she has changed her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo to protest being named after the people who have oppressed her. Mama tells Dee that she was in fact named after her Aunt Dicie, who was named after Grandma Dee, who bore the name of her mother as well.

Mama wonders whether Hakim-a-barber and Dee are married.

For everyday use

Sitting down to eat, Hakim-a-barber states that he does not eat collard greens or pork. Dee, however, eats heartily, delighted by the fact that the family still uses the benches her father made.

Everyday Use Summary -

Hopping up, she approaches the butter churn in the corner and asks Mama if she can have its top, which had been carved by Uncle Buddy. Dee wants the dasher too, a device with blades used to make butter. The quilts contain small pieces of garments worn by relatives all the way back to the Civil War.

Dee asks her mother for the quilts. Mama hears Maggie drop something in the kitchen and then slam the door. Mama suggests that Dee take other quilts, but Dee insists, wanting the ones hand-stitched by her grandmother.

Mama gets up and tries to tell Dee more about the garments used to make the quilts, but Dee steps out of reach. Mama reveals that she had promised Maggie the quilts. But Mama hopes that Maggie does, indeed, designate the quilts for everyday use. Dee says that the priceless quilts will be destroyed.

Mama says that Maggie knows how to quilt and can make more. Maggie shuffles in and, trying to make peace, offers Dee the quilts. When Mama looks at Maggie, she is struck by a strange feeling, similar to the spirit she feels sometimes in church. She tells Dee to take one or two of the other quilts.

Mama and Maggie watch the car drive off, then sit in the quiet of the yard until bedtime.It's pretty fitting that Alice Walker's "Everyday Use" is included in a short story collection called In Love and know, because it's got love and trouble, trouble, trouble.

Walker published this collection of stories in , exactly a decade before she won the Pulitzer Prize for a little book you might've heard of called The Color Purple.

“Everyday Use” is the first short story that I have read from the author Alice Walker, I must say that I surprised myself on having really enjoyed it and I’m glad that we had an assignment on it for this class/5.

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