ProfessorTarra GainesEnglish 130227June 2016
Deeand Maggie’s Perception of the Environment
Parentshave varied expectations for their children when they raise them invarious environments. In the Early stages of life, they can predictthe direction of life that the children will take basing theirpredictions on the childhood likes and preferences. Although some ofthe projections turn out to be a reality, others change as minorsventure outside their homes. It is also a general agreement thatchildren are growing in the same environment will have fairly similarattributes. In Alice Walker’s, EverydayUse,the author contrasts the lives of two siblings whose life preferencesdiffer sharply. AlthoughMaggie and Dee have similar nativity and orientation, Dee venturesout of the home environment, and the external experiences alter herappearance, personality, and perception of the elements in hersurroundings.
First,Walker is fast to introduce the reader to the differences thatdominate Dee and Maggie’s lives. A reader may not notice a fewsimilarities that ensue before the girls pursue divergent goals. Thesame parent has brought up both characters. They also value thefamily artifacts, as it is their mother’s advice (57). The familyhas a strong attachment to the quilts that were inherited from theirgrandmother and aunts. However, as Dee conceives another personalityand ideology, her perception of the artifacts change. She believesthat they are so precious to be used for everyday use. She alsopresumes that they cannot be entrusted to Maggie, who may exploitthem like other tools in the home (62).
Thenative home play an important role in the upbringing of the twogirls. Nonetheless, as they develop independent thoughts, theyperceive the environment differently. Maggie associates the domicilewith safety. In the setting, she does not feel intimidated orinferior. Maggie expresses her attitude to her mother that, “A yardlike this is more than comfortable than most people know. It is not ayard. It is like an extended living room” (49). Her mother is bothsupportive and appreciative. The rationale for considering home as ahaven is primary because of her altered physical appearance. Maggiedeveloped a low self-esteem after suffering from fire injuries. Hercontentment only experiences a blow when Dee arrives. After sheleaves, Mama explains, “The two of us sat there just enjoying untilit was time to go in the house and to bed” (59). Conversely, Deedoes not derive any pleasure from being at her native place. She onlyfelt content when her mother raised enough money to send her toschool. Her reason for considering the external exposure assurpassing the home environment is that she gets a chance to exploreand practice her ethnic customs. It is while from home that shechanges her name to Wangero. Her intention was to dissociate herselffrom her family culture that she conserved to be oppressive.
Also,the perceptions that people have for components in their environmentis strongly influenced by their personality. The family quilts areimportant to both girls. For Maggie, the objects remind her of hergrandmother and aunt. Maggie indicates that “I can’ rememberwithout the quilts” (54). In addition, Mama saved the artifacts foruse by Maggie after getting married. Maggie, therefore, values themwith the intention of putting them to good use in her matrimonialhome. Conversely, Dee did not find any value in the objectsinitially. College life elicits in her a new perception of heritage.She returns home wearing exotic attire as a show of appreciation ofan environment dominated by traditional elements. Her mother hadoffered her one of the quilts, but she turned down the offer afteradmitting that it was old fashioned and irrelevant (55). Her changedpersonality influences her initial perception. She presupposes thatthe artifacts are precious and should be protected rather than beingused in daily activities (61).
Thetwo women’s appearances also depict the way they perceive theenvironment surrounding them. The author portrays Maggie as entirelydependent on her mother. She is scared and ashamed when Dee arrivesin an elegant outfit. Seeing her reminds her of her unattractiveness.Her environment that is dominated by the remnant of theAfrican-American inferiority makes her receive Dee with “Chin onthe chest, eyes on the ground and feet in shuffle” (61). Contraryto her static appearance, Dee arrives by car and walks energetically.She is proud of whom she is – an African-American woman. Her outfitsdepict that she has nothing to be ashamed of in her environment.Despite the inferiority associated with the blacks, Dee exhibits apart that was never crushed in the process.
Conclusively,although Maggie and Dee have a similar nativity and orientation, Deeexperience outside the home environment alters her appearance,personality, and perception of the elements in her setting. WhileMaggie is reserved and simple, Dee defies the mediocrity annexed withAfrican-Americans. She believes the family artifacts are pricelessand should not be entrusted to Maggie. Also, she considers theenvironment outside the home surroundings as appropriate for hergoals. Walker auspiciously demonstrates that the children brought upin the same background can develop alternative preferences.
Walker,Alice. EverydayUse,2012. Dunbarhs.Web. Retrieved 27th June, 2016. <http://www.dunbarhs.org/ourpages/auto/2013/8/29/50829982/2%20Everyday%20Use%20Student%20Text.pdf>