LIterature Discussions

 Please read and help me to write 2 responses(1-2 sentences) on the following discussions  from ” Everyday Use”

1.  What  do the quilts symbolize? What other evidence in the story leads us to  see the conflict over the quilts as symbols of a bigger issue? What do  the various views of or “uses” of the quilts reveal about each member’s  understanding of preserving history? 


I  actually used the quilt as one of the symbols in my reaction paper. “I  see the quilt being used as a symbol but in a different way.  The quilt  represents their generational history in the folds of time. It  symbolizes how the characters Dee and Maggie are each hiding between  layers of fabrics of themselves.The conflict is between the two sisters  and how each sister symbolizes the quilt. Dee doesn’t know who she wants  to be because she has no foundation.  Therefore she needs the quilt to  remind her. Maggie on the other hand is the strong one, having to  struggle with her deformities but yet she is grounded. She knows her  history, she remembers Grandma Dee. 

Maggie,  although the more timid sister is aware of who she is and the influence  of her forefathers in her upbringing.  “She can have them mama”  referring to the quilts and “I can ‘member Grandma Dee without the  quilts” (74) is the most powerful statement in this short story.  The  quilts are superficial, and are not as important as the memories. Dee on  the other hand believes that these objects will connect her to her  past. In reality it seems that collecting these objects was just for  show or to ease her conscience. Dee said “You would not understand. The  point is these quilts, these  quilts!” (70).  Yes, the quilts that Dee wants to hang as a showpiece  alongside the dasher. Dee feels that harboring those pieces will be  enough to help her find herself whereas Maggie already knows who she  is. 

2.  . How does the author use names to reflect cultural identity? What does Dee’s rejection of/changing her name reveal? 

 I  think the author uses names to reflect cultural identity to show a sign  of remembrance for there ancestors. I think its to symbolize that this  is a family name and its to keep that name alive in a way. Dee’s  rejection showed she hated that name whether it had cultural  significance or not. She thought it was a slave name and wanted nothing  to do with it. It also showed me that whether it was a slave name or not  Dee just hated what the name signifies for her. That she was from a  poor and backwater family that she couldn’t escape from and didn’t want  to be seen as such. 

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