Two Sisters in "Everyday Use"

Essay by pizzapocket3High School, 10th gradeB+, February 2014

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Often children are brought up in the same environment and turn out completely different. This is the case of Maggie and Dee, the two sisters in Alice Walker's "Everyday Use," a story about the return of the older sister to her family home for a visit. The story is told from the mother's perspective and it is her observations about her very different daughters which allow the readers to see the contrast. Although the girls were raised by the same woman, in the same home, their similarities end there. Maggie and Dee are different in their appearances, their personalities, and their ideas about the family artefacts.

Maggie is not as attractive as Dee. She is a thin and awkward girl. Her mother notes, "good looks passed her by" Furthermore, she carries herself like someone with low self-esteem, with her "chin on [her] chest, eyes on [the] ground, feet in [a] shuffle" .On

the other hand, Dee is an attractive woman. Her mother describes Dee as having, "nicer hair and a full figure". Dee takes pride in her appearance. She dresses in fashionable clothes. When Dee arrives for her visit, her mother says even, "her feet [are] always neat-looking". The girls are easy to tell apart.

Besides their appearances, Maggie and Dee have unique personalities. When Maggie is first introduced in the story, she is nervous about her sister's visit. In fact, Dee's arrival makes Maggie so uncomfortable that she "attempts to make a dash for the house" but her mother's hand stops her. Unlike Maggie, Dee is a bold young woman with "a style of her own". As a young girl, Dee was never afraid to express herself. Her mother remembers that "she would always look anyone in the eye. Hesitation was no part of her nature". Going...