Everyday Use is a short story written by the American author Alice Walker. The story was first published in 1973 and belonged to the author’s collection of short stories called In Love and Trouble.
Everyday Use is quite a thought-provoking and relevant story that demonstrates the modern problem of globalization. Moreover, it touches upon the eternal problem of generation gap. Alice Walker being of African-American origin, decided to present a very gripping and specific problem of cultural heritage. She tries to find the roots of her people.
The plot of Everyday Use is based on the narration of Mama about her daughters Dee and Maggie. The short story is told in the first person by the mother. She told about her daughter Maggie who was a shy child and loved the mother and her house. Another daughter, Dee, was completely different. She was arrogant and tried to reject from her family and its traditions. She decided to find her African roots and found a Muslim husband. She criticized Mama’s lifestyle and dreamt only about the idealized Africa. The crucial point of the text is related to the episode in which Dee asked to mother to give the family quilts to her. She wanted to have them as decoration. Mama decided to give the quilts to Maggie whereas this daughter was going to put the mentioned quilts for ‘everyday use’.