Everyday Use Essay

Everyday Use Essay

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Everyday Use In the world today, we come across families that have the child that always wants something, and the child that will accept everything they have and not be selfish and greedy. Everyday Use is a short story about two sisters who are completely different. The mother wants the younger daughter, Maggie to be just like her older daughter, Dee. Dee has graduated from college and is about to get married, and Maggie is still a young girl. Dee seems to be more materialistic than Maggie. In the story the mother says, Dee wanted nice things such as a flowery dress for her graduation and she had a sense of fashion (460). Their mother is manlike and not very attractive. She built Dee into the model child. Maggie is not a very attractive girl, yet Dee is. She says, Sometimes I dream a dream in which Dee and I are suddenly brought together on a TV program of some sort with Johnny Carson (459). The mother tells us "Dee is lighter than Maggie, with nicer hair and a fuller figure"(460). She speaks of the fire that burned and scarred Maggie and tells us how Maggie is not bright and how she shuffles when she walks. Dee s feet, on the other hand were always neat looking, as if God himself had shaped them with a certain style (461). We also learn of Dee's "style" and the way she awes the other girls at school with it. Maggie is seen "eying her sister with a mixture of envy and awe (462). She thinks her sister has always held life in the palm of her hands, and "no" is a word the world would never say to her. Maggie's mother seems to have reinforced this by being unable to say no to Dee also. This is what makes the point in the story when she finally does say no (regarding the quilts) such an important moment in Maggie's life. The attitude of the mother towards Dee limits her happiness. The description of Dee reading to them, Her eyelids would not flicker for minutes at a time. Often I fought off the temptation to fight her, and again when she shoved us away...like dimwits (460). It is also pointed out that Dee is self-centered and selfish because she has to have everything new or cannot take anything that looks old and gross while Maggie is very caring and giving. Maggie will take anything that is given to her. If there was a dress that had holes in it and looked old, she would wear it and appreciate it, while, on the other hand, Dee would snub her nose at it and ask for a new one. In the end the mother realizes her daughters are okay the way they are. She comes to accept Dee and Maggie s limitations and cherishes their love and feelings. Not everyone can be polished and successful in worldly ways. Maybe that's why Maggie was smiling in the end, her mother finally accepted her as she is.

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