Ironically, Dee's outward appearance is that of a proud black woman, but her actions and words show ignorance and shame towards her culture.
Alice Walker uses the characterization of Dee to show that heritage is something that one always has inside of them and can not be found in material objects.
Maggie knows nothing but her heritage, for she has never left home.
On the other hand, Dee seems to have no real concept of her roots.
Mother, the narrator of the story, explains Dee's personality and background.
Dee apparently has been running from her poverty stricken past since she was a child.Throughout the story, it reveals an African-American family living in small home and struggling financially.Dee is a well-educated woman who struggles to understand her family's heritage because she is embarrassed of her mother and sister, Mama and Maggie. We apologize for any inconvenience, and thank you for your visiting.Everyday Use Literary Analysis Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use” is a short, yet powerful story about a simple, rural family that’s changed with the return of one of the daughters.Maggie and “Mama” continue to keep the tradition of a simple and hardworking life that seems to be passed down from generations, but we see that Dee has been a black sheep since a young age and holds resentment toward her family because of their lifestyle.Mama was raised into this lifestyle and has become satisfied and happy with it.Moreover, the handicrafts’ Mama contains inside her home represent symbolic meaning of heritage in their family’s struggles and experiences.For example, Dee wanted to use the churn and dasher as centerpieces and as a form of art, rather than putting them to good use.How lucky Mama and Maggie must have been to be visited by someone that “God himself had shaped” in such a superior way.After Mama and Maggie’s eyes had taken in everything, but before Dee had even yet spoken to them, they noticed her appearance wasn’t the only thing that had changed.