Alice Walker, "Everyday Use"

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Alice Walker, “Everyday Use”

  1. What is the significance of the title in relation to the central conflict of the story?

  1. Describe Maggie’s personality and her feelings toward her sister Dee. How does she deal with Dee’s demand for the quilts, and why? Are there any ways in which Maggie is “better off” than Dee?

  1. Discuss some of the positive and negative aspects of Dee’s character, focusing in particular on her relationship with her family. What is implied about Dee in the passage describing the loss of their previous home?

  1. Is there anything ironic about Dee’s accusations that her mother and sister do not understand their heritage? What are the personal consequences of her efforts to stake her claim to a piece of that heritage?

  1. Describe the narrator’s personality and her feelings about her daughter Dee. In what sense is this “her” story?

  1. In the end, where does Alice Walker seem to stand on the issues she raises regarding the characters’ sense of their heritage?

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