The story of Alice Walker, an American writer and activist, is a story of complicated relationships between a mother and her daughters. Too many things separate them, and only a few unite them, showing they are a family. The conflict of this family is more than parent-children’s issues – it is a conflict of different values of the closest people. However, it is not the main theme but the background for the idea of Walker, which relates to the intention to demonstrate her view of the true representation of culture.
The story of Alice Walker is narrated by an uneducated African-American woman who lives in the South with one of her two daughters. The daughters, Maggie and Dee, are complete opposites, and the principal difference between them lies in the perception of traditional culture (Walker 24). In this regard, Maggie is closer to her mother than Dee as she shares her vision. At the beginning of the story, the mother is thinking about physical differences between the three of them, and this idea develops into psychological differences.
Her reflections are interrupted by the arrival of Dee with her boyfriend. She tells the family that she has changed her name, and from this moment on, they should call her by a new one, Wangero (Walker 25). In this way, Dee demonstrates her disdain for the traditional culture of her family. However, this feeling does not apply to the family heirlooms she tries to claim. Among these things, Dee wants to have the handmade quilts, which the mother promised to give to Maggie. Even though Maggie agrees to give them to her sister, their mother is against such an action. As a result, Dee has to leave without them, and this move reflects the attempts of her mother to preserve their culture, even on a personal level.
Walker, Alice. Everyday Use. Rutgers University Press, 1994.