Alice Walker suggests that going to college has a dramatic effect on an individualsmindset and values, which may ultimately come into conflict with those of his or her family.
The author shifts the tone of the story from affection tocondescension. Affection Condescension/Resentment"Sometimes I dream a dream in which Dee and I are suddenly Dee begins to look down upon brought together on a TV her family and is embarrassed program of this sort…Then we by them are on the stage and Dee is embracing me with tears in her eyes” (313 Walker) Maggie and Mama show dissatisfaction towards Dee’sIt is as if Mama admires her new attitude privileged daughter, but this affectionate tone soon shifts. • Maggie refuses to interact with Dee Their changes in attitude render it impossible for them to connect as they once could.
Collegeinstills in Dee an alternate set of values that conflict with her family’s. • Dee’s education leads her to misunderstand the true importance of the quilt, further dividing her from her family. • Upon returning from college, Dee’s notion of beauty becomes increasingly different from that of her mother’s.
EARLY DEVELOPMENT MATURATION Psychologist Sanjeev Himachali explains An article written by psychologist Dr. that an individuals childhood plays a Vijai Sharma explains that leaving for large factor on that individuals personality college is a major step towards (Himachali). complete independence for young adults, and a process which may • There are specific environmental "loosen child-parent ties" (Sharma). factors that have impact, and includes the financial status of the Without the guidance of her mother, family as a key factor during Dee is easily influenced by her childhood that may affect classmates and instructors. personality. Similarly, Dee saw her upbringing as low and unfortunate which played a factor into her arrogant personality.
The quilt includes clothes that during the Civil War. Because Walkerincludes Civil War memorabilia, it offers context to the African Americanstruggle, thus adding importance to the quilt ("The Civil War"). The quiltadditionally adds to the idea of creative activities women came up withto pass down history from generation to generation ("The Civil War"). The historical significance of quilts is pertinent to understanding the central conflict between Dee and her family. The quilt itself is a very meaningful item in the sense that it holds a piece of history.
Opposers argue that college was not the reason forDee’s change because the differences were apparentbefore her departure to college. • When their house burned down, rather than Dee expressing some sort of emotion or reaction to the incident, she stood under the sweet gum tree and watched everything happen. Her mother even states, “She had hated the house so much” (312 Walker). • Dees mother only had a second grade education. It was noted that Dee would read to her mother and sister with a hidden ignorance. Dee’s mother felt as if Dee treated them “like dimwits, we seemed about to understand” (312 Walker).Rebuttal : Education magnified the differences between Dee and her family. Prior to college it was clear that she didnt appreciate her family, but on her return from college what was once mere feelings of distance became declarative insults. • Upon hearing that Maggie was promised the quilt, she quickly retorted, “Maggie…probably be backward enough to put them in everyday use” (378 Walker). • Dee claims that Maggies brain was like an elephant because she did not think (377 Walker).
The conflict between the characters depict themeaning of the work which is that education offersnew perspectives, but a true understanding ofheritage is in the knowledge of its usefulness as wellas its personal significance. • Utilizing the historical perspective adds a greater significance to the central dispute over the Civil War embossed quilt. •A psychological outlook reveals that Dees separation from her family for extended periods of time leaves Dee to mature into womanhood while forming her identity in solitude.
Himachali, Sanjeev. "Impact of your Childhood on YourPersonality. CiteHR ." CiteHR Human ResourceManagement Community Knowledgebase. N.p., n.d.Web. 8 Apr. 2013. http://www.citehr.com/30691-impact-your-childhood-your-personality.html."The Civil War." African American Odyssey: (Part 1). TheLibrary of Congress, 21 Mar. 2008. Web. 07Apr. 2013.http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/aaohtml/exhibit/aopart4.html.Walker, Alice, and Barbara Christian. Everyday use. NewBrunswick, N.J: Rutgers University Press, 1994. Print.