Critical Analysis Essay Everyday Use

Dee then leaves, chiding the mother for not understanding her own heritage and encouraging Maggie to "make something of yourself." After Dee is gone, Maggie and the narrator relax contentedly in the back yard.

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She almost seems disappointed that her mother is willing to call her Wangero.

Dee shows possessiveness and entitlement as "her hand close[s] over Grandma Dee's butter dish" and she begins to think of objects she'd like to take.

The mother informs Dee that she has already promised the quilts to Maggie, and also intends for the quilts to be used, not simply admired.

Maggie says Dee can have them, but the mother takes the quilts out of Dee's hands and gives them to Maggie.

When the mother describes snatching the quilts away from Dee, she refers to her as "Miss Wangero," suggesting that she's run out of patience with Dee's haughtiness.

After that, she simply calls her Dee, fully withdrawing her gesture of support.But as Dee becomes more and more selfish and difficult, the narrator starts to withdraw her generosity in accepting the new name.Instead of "Wangero (Dee)," she starts to refer to her as "Dee (Wangero)," privileging her original given name.This decision hurts her mother, who named her after a lineage of family members.During the visit, Dee lays claim to certain family heirlooms, such as the top and dasher of a butter churn, whittled by relatives.Summary The story begins with Mama waiting in the yard for her eldest daughter Dee to return.Mama’s yard is an extension of her living room: the dirt ground flows into the small shack without separation.Mama breaks out of her reverie to explain the realities of her life.Unlike the slim and lighter-skinned fantasy of herself on the Johnny Carson Show, Mama has darker skin and is big boned, wearing overalls rather than feminine clothing.Still, as the mother narrates the story, she does her best to appease Dee and refer to her as Wangero.Occasionally she refers to her as "Wangero (Dee)," which emphasizes the confusion of having a new name and the effort it takes to use it (and also pokes a little fun at the grandness of Dee's gesture).


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