Which Excerpt From “Everyday Use” By Alice Walker Employs The Technique of Ambiguity?

Updated: November 28, 2022
The excerpt employs the technique of ambiguity by not clearly defining who is the protagonist and who is the antagonist.
Detailed answer:

The title of the story, “Everyday Use,” can be interpreted in two ways: it can refer to the everyday items that are at the center of the sisters’ fight. Alternatively, it could refer to how family members use or misuse these items. The quilts symbolize the divergent approaches of Maggie and Dee to their heritage. While Maggie wants to use them as quilts, Dee wants to display them as art. Mama is torn between her two daughters; she loves both of them dearly yet feels guilty for not doing more to help Maggie, who has had a difficult life. The story is set in the South during a time when segregation was still prevalent; therefore this provides context for why Dee and Maggie have different attitudes towards their heritage. Finally, Dee is depicted as materialistic and self-centered while Maggie is humble and down-to-earth.” Dee and Maggie clash over a set of quilts that have been handed down in their family for generations. Dee changes her name to distance herself from her African heritage, while Mama gives the quilts to Dee at the end of the story, even though she knows that Maggie wants them more. Mama’s actions highlight the importance of family, tradition, and heritage in this story. The story ends on a note of ambiguity, with the reader left to wonder whether Mama made the right decision in giving the quilts to Dee.

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Which Excerpt From “Everyday Use” By Alice Walker Employs The Technique of Ambiguity?. (2022, Nov 21). Retrieved from