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Word Count: 785
In the short story Everyday Use by Alice Walker the family quilt is used as a symbol of the values that each family member holds dear To Maggie the quilt is just another thing she has to give up To Dee the quilt is a symbol of rising above her poor past To their mother the quilt is symbolic of the roots of her family The oldest daughter Dee values her friends approval While she is growing up she doesnt have many friends In fact when her mother mentions this Maggie makes the comment Mama when did Dee ever have any friends 91 Now that Dee has made some friends at school she wants to impress them by displaying her African heritage This is obvious by the clothing she wears from her traditional African dress which is long and bright yellow and orange to her gold earrings and dangling bracelets Even her hair is styled in an ethnic hairstyle Dee has chosen a new African name Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo and greets her family using a Black Muslim greeting These are the type of things that black women in the 70s commonly did as a way of contributing in some small way to the civil rights movement She rejects her family name because she doesnt like being named after the people who oppress me 92 She wants to have the family artifacts as a way of showing off to and fitting in with her new friends When her mother asks her what she will do with the quilts Dee replies Hang them 94 To which her mother comments as if that was the only thing you could do with quilts 94 Dee has made a better life for herself and wants her friends to see how far she has risen above her past In contrast to Dee Maggie does not covet anything in the house In fact when Dee and her mother are discussing
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