Everyday Use


Alice Walker

Teachers and parents! Our Teacher Edition on Everyday Use makes teaching easy.

The House

Mama and Maggie’s house works in “Everyday Use” to represent both the comfort of their family heritage and the trauma built into that history. The house is beloved by Mama and Maggie, who treasure…

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The family’s quilts, sewn by Maggie and Dee’s grandmother, become the site of the family’s struggle over its heritage and the question of how best to engage with that heritage. Dee wants to take…

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Eye contact / Vision / Gaze

The idea of eye contact, vision, or gaze recurs throughout “Everyday Use,” representing the various ways that characters, particularly Dee, interact with or create hierarchies of power. For example, when Mama contrasts her inability…

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