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Critical Analysis of Alice Walker's "Everyday Use 

             Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” is a classic tale of irony. Dee comes home to collect the quilts and show her family how she has learned about the African American culture, when really she is trying to be someone she is not. Maggie deserves to have the quilts because she appreciates its connection to her family in a way that Dee does not.
             Maggie appreciates the quilts’ connection to her family. By allowing Maggie to have the quilts, they will have a chance to circulate through the generations to come. Sam Whitsitt, “The quilts might leave the home, but how they do so is significant. They must move through the hands of Mama and Maggie” (2). Maggie wasn’t lucky enough to be sent off to school, and therefore has to work extremely hard to have anything at all. Nancy Tuten writes, “…Mama is projecting her own anger and frustration onto her younger daughter” (3). By the time Maggie is old enough to marry, she will have almost certainly experienced a rough childhood, like that of her mother and grandmother, therefore appreciating the quilts in a different way. Cowart writes, “Maggie represents the multitudes of black women who must suffer while an occasional lucky ‘sister’ gets to leave the ghetto” (4). In a way, Dee has been already been given a very valuable gift, since she got a chance to go to a nice school and receive an education. The quilts are Maggie’s gift. She can appreciate them the same way that Dee appreciates reading and writing. Maggie can even make quilts herself, so by knowing the time and effort it takes to make a quilt, she can appreciate it that much more.
             Dee doesn’t appreciate her heritage, even though she thinks she does. It seems as though Dee (Wangero) forgets the fact that her own family and church, whom she seems to look down upon so much, are the very ones who raised the money to send her off to receive a very valuable education.