Alice Walker’s _ Daily use _ is a story about a mother and her 2 daughters, Dee and Maggie. Mama, the narrator, of the story provides us a great description of both children by revealing their different strengths and weak point. Dee and Maggie are as different as day and night however Mother enjoy them both. Dee the older daughter is extremely stunning, independent, confident, and informed however she is also big-headed, self-centered and self centered. Maggie on the other hand, is ignorant and unsightly with burn scars on her face arm and leg resulting in her having a low self-confidence and being shy.
Mother, an African American is a strong hard-working, independent, uneducated, and self enough female who in spite of all these excellent qualities still have a low self esteem and does not have self confidence.
Mom being an independent lady, explains herself as” a large, big-boned lady with rough, man-working hands” (Walker 104). Striving in every sense of the word. She worked hard to give her daughter the chance in life that she never had. A single mother who works hard to take care of her family, and took up the responsibility as head of the family. Mom has the ability to work throughout the day despite the weather condition and she” can eliminate and clean a hog as mercilessly as a male”(walker 104). However apart from her physical strength, she also show mental toughness. A large black female with a heart as huge as her profile and the work principles of an ox. She had the strength of a guy and could do any male’s job, and she takes pride in the useful element of her life.
Mom when maturing, had few civil liberties as a colored person. She discussed that” after second grade, the school was shut down”(Walker 105), and since of this she is not educated and can not read. Nevertheless her illiteracy and refinement does not avoid her from having a fundamental understanding of her heritage based upon her love and regard for those who came before her. This is clear from her capability to associate pieces of fabric in 2 stops with individuals whose clothing they have been cut from. A woman whose official education was cut short in 1927 right after she accomplished a 2nd grade education, apparently welcomed her daughter’s brilliance and ambitiousness by raising cash, with the assistance of their church to send her to school in Augusta.
Mother permitted Dee to get whatever she desired that Mom might afford due to the fact that of her academic intelligence. She discusses that” Dee wanted nice things … black pumps to match a green fit she had actually made from an old suit somebody gave me”(walker 105). Mother enables Dee to take the old green match given to her by someone and that was most likely Mother best clothing given that Dee understood what style was. But Dee constantly wanted more to the level that Mama “combated the temptation to shake her”(walker 105).
Unlike her child Dee, Mother does not have self self-confidence and self esteem. She states that” who can even imagine me looking a strange white man in the eyes?”( 104 ); constantly taking the protective posture of flight and preventing the white man as much as possible. Mom knew her location, which she could not rub shoulders with white folks. Furthermore Mama feels self mindful about her appearance since she understands that Dee will not approve. Often, mother dreams” … I am the method my daughter would want me to be: a hundred pounds lighter, my skin like a raw barley pancake (Walker 104). Mother dreams that Dee will enjoy her for who she is, and value her all she ‘d done to ensure that she achieve her objectives.
Dee on the other hand never shows any kind of appreciation to her mom. Mom in the process of being an excellent mom to her daughters is unconsciously bias to her daughter Maggie in favor of Dee. This was due to the fact that Dee had the appearances and brains and, therefore had potentials to be successful in life. She in some cases dream that Dee will welcome her with thanks and love and appreciate her heritage. She seems to prevent disputes of any type. This when Dee arrives and announces that her name is no longer Dee however Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo, Mama set up little battle about a family name that has been passed through the generation.
Mom is a vibrant character in the story. Throughout the entire story Mother practically acts like a pacifist. never wishing to start any difficulty or put her foot down about anything. She comes to a realization of Dee’s superficiality and Maggie’s extensive understanding of heritage. Maggie is so much like Mom and not one to combat for anything was willing to let Dee take the quilt that Mom had actually assured her as a wedding gift, and this same quilt Dee had actually once declined to require to college. Dee grumbles that” Maggie can’t value these quilts … she ‘d most likely be backwards enough to put them to daily use”(Walker 110).
Dee will rather hang them to decorate her house. Seeing the self-centered, egotistical nature of Dee still present after all these years, constantly wanting and not ready to offer; Mother concludes that” I did something I never did before: hugged Maggie to me, then dragged her on into the room, nabbed the quilts out of Miss Wangero’s hands and discarded them on Maggie’s lap”(Walker 110-111). Mama chooses that Maggie deserves the quilt since heritage is appreciated and appreciated through everyday usage. Alice Walker opens the reader eyes to see that it is really important to accept our heritage and appreciate it. Our heritage is part of who we are.
Walker, Alice. “Daily Use” _ Looking For Our Mothers’ Gardens _. New York City: Anchor Books, 1984