”Everyday Use” is a tale about how you know your roots and where you came from. This story spoke with me particularly as I read it and I began to think about my native American origins when I read it, and while studying, my family ridiculed me. But it was interesting to read a storey where people were proud and wanted to know their roots. I am fascinated with all the storey characters and I needed to show everyone once I had heard about my Native American origins because I was proud of them. But certain facets of my ancestry, such as my ancestors’ philosophical aspects, I kept privately to myself. You should know from where you came and never forget or lose your roots all day long, but you should not show it. You should make your patrimony a part of it and who you are.
I was puzzled in the beginning as to which character, but all was obvious when the story went on. She returns from work, and Dee (rather than Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo, shortly Wangero), and is willing to tear me the wrong way. I didn’t like her character very much. She was rather self-absorbed, but she was somewhat redemption in the last line. She is back with a new identity, a new boyfriend with a new way of thinking, (“a short stocky fellow with the hair to his navel” (392). It seems that her sister, particularly her sister, who a couple of years earlier really scarred off a fire, feels better than her poor family. In many times, but particularly in the quilt episode, this place of dominance is evident. She wants to encourage her mom to get two old quilts, so she feels that Maggie (her sister) is going to wear them.
The Quilt is a significant feature in this short story, it is not only important for the family and made of clothes made by their big grandmother and uniforms worn by their grandparents during the civil war. I think that it is purely because it’s a historical account of the oppression of African Americans that Dee wants this piece. It’s more than an old household heirloom, it’s a historical account, and that’s why Dee wants it to show. For her family to demonstrate the struggle, it was only through her family that Maggie wants the war to surmount. She needs this quilt because she remembers her grandparents when she looks at it.
I was pretty upset about Wangero, particularly as she had turned down the blankets. I was proud of the mother character because I did not give in and still did what was best for her “successful” boy. Maggie looked plain, but she seemed very nice. This story has been fascinating, and I’ll hopefully recall it every time I go home and remember that the household isn’t spinning around me when I’m back from college.