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Night and Day

             Alice Walker, in her story, Everyday Use introduces two sisters, Dee and Maggie. Usually siblings are thought of to be similar in many aspects. These sisters, however, do not fit that traditional mold at all. They possess enough differences that the relation between the two is very surprising. They seem to differ in many more ways than they are similar. Three ways in which they differ are their physical appearance, their ideas of their heritage, and their treatment of their mother.
             Physically, Maggie and Dee are different enough that they could be mistaken for unrelated women. Maggie is permanently scarred by the fire that burned her house down when she was a child. She is "ashamed of the burn scars down her arms and legs" and seems very self-conscious about her looks (840). She walks with a shuffle, with her head down and her eyes averted, embarrassed by her physical state. Dee, however, is "lighter than Maggie, with nicer hair and a fuller figure" (841). She has a sense of style, and dresses better than Maggie dresses. She wears gold earrings and brightly colored clothing while Dee still wears the plain simple clothes of her everyday life.
             Dee seems content with her life, and appears proud of her heritage. She remembers who whittled the dasher and that "His name was Henry but they called him Stash" (844). She is planning to marry a local man, and will make everyday use of the things that her ancestors made for their family. Dee seems to be ashamed of her heritage. She has changed her name to Wangero, although, Dee was a family name passed down through several generations. She will not bring her friends to see her family, because she is ashamed of the way they "choose to live" (841). She is with a man who is of a different heritage and seems to have adopted it, changing her name, style of dress, and even her language. She seems to be embracing a heritage that she likes more than her own.
             Whether proud or not, Dee treats their mother with respect.

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