GradeSaver. Everyday use by Alice Walker: Summary and Analysis

The article argues that Walker’s Everyday Use hides the stereotypical comparison between black American females in the rural area and those that have “made it.” In the story, therefore, Walker shows Mama’s contentment with her living situation. This is further shown by Mama’s preference that Maggie, who shares more cultural qualities with her, inherit the family’s quilts. The value of family heritage is also the cause of tension between Mama and Dee. 

Eder, Martin. Alice Walker's Short Story "Everyday Use." Munich: GRIN Verlag, 2011

Here, the article explains that the entire story is about a mother who witnesses and has to play a role in resolving the conflict between her daughters. The elder daughter Dee is educated, while the younger one is not. This has caused dissimilarities in their perception of life and of each other so much that they barely agree on anything. The article states that the story concerns the Afro-American’s heritage.

Comparison of Critical Author’s Conclusions and Insights

Both articles share the understanding that the story is about a black American woman and the conflict between her daughters. Secondly, both articles show that Mama experiences endless racism in her life. As a young colored girl, Mama could not continue schooling after the school she attended closed down, and no one considered its reopening.

The second phase of racism, a lasting one, is in her daughter Dee. The fairness of Dee’s skin color and her ability to get an education has caused her to look down on her family heritage and embrace a culture that is superior to her family’s. Lastly, both articles show Dee struggling with herself. Although she thinks her family’s cultural beliefs are inferior, she still wants to remember her grandmother through quilts that she plans to use as artifacts.