Maggie and Dee
Siblings, although sharing the common bond of blood, are most often extremely different from one other. In Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use”, the two main characters, Maggie and Dee, are sisters who are as opposite as night and day. Throughout the story, the girl’s differences become evident through their personalities, physical traits, and the way they feel about their heritage.
Maggie and Dee have many discrepancies that cause them to view each other as an opponent. Maggie is always “nervous until after her sister goes” away. Maggie “[eyes] her sister with…envy and awe,” and when Dee comes home to visit, Maggie “attempts to make a dash for the house” to escape having to face Dee again. She gives in to letting Dee have the quilts like “someone who [is] used to never winning anything. When Maggie makes a comment about the dash that Dee wants, Dee cuts her down and “[laughingly]” refers to Maggie’s brain as that of “an elephant’s.” Dee’s attitude toward Maggie is so harsh that Momma “[thinks] she [hates] Maggie.” Maggie and Dee’s competitive spirits lead them both to be judgmental of each other.
Maggie and Dee have different physical traits. Maggie is “ashamed of the burn scars down her arms and legs” which the house fire “ten years ago” leaves her with. Maggie’s self confidence is so low that she walks with her “chin on chest,” like a “lame animal” that has been run over by a crazy driver. Dee, on the other hand, has “nicer hair and a fuller figure.” Even a glimpse of Dee lets Momma know she’s coming because her feet are always “neat
looking as if God himself had shaped them.” Maggie and Dee’s physical qualities prove to be more than skin deep.
Although both girls are raised in the same environment, Maggie and Dee have different opinions on how their heritage should be lived out. Maggie spends all of her time at home l...