Everyday Use Summary
Everyday Use begins with a Mother, Ms. Johnson, a big boned uneducated black woman, and her daughter Maggie waiting for her sister Dee, an educated woman who now lives in a civilized community, to arrive for a visit from college. Ms. Johnson prepared the house for Dee’s arrival by sweeping the clay in the front yard so they can sit under the elm tree.
Ms. Johnson remembers a fire, which destroyed their old house and burned Maggie very badly. Maggie has scars on her body to show for it. Maggie seems to have a sense of Jealousy towards Dee, because Dee has never been told “no”. Dee also is easy on the eyes compared to Maggie.
Ms. Johnson daydreams about Dee’s arrival. Picturing them on a talk show like Johnny Carson. Only Ms. Johnson is one hundred pounds lighter and has perfect skin. She imagines they reunite as the families portrayed on television. Arriving in a limousine, Dee pins an orchid on mom and everyone celebrates the reunion.
As they are still waiting for Dee, Maggie steps out to ask her mom how she looks. She is always hiding herself since the fire burned her skin. Dee hated the house that burned down.
After the fire, the church raised money to help Ms. Johnson, which sent Dee to college. Dee tried to educate her mother and sister, which did not take. Dee was very persistent when she wanted something. She always wanted the nicest of things, like for her graduation; she had to have black pumps to match her dress she made.
While Ms. Johnson continued to reflect on the past, Dee arrives. Her feet are the first thing Ms. Johnson see as Dee is getting out of Hakim’s vehicle. He was a hairy looking man. Maggie shy’s away from him. Dee is dressed in a very flashy dress, with big earrings and bracelets.
While eating lunch, Hakim would not eat collards or pork. He thought that eating pork was unclean. Dee was very pleased with the food. Dee loved the hand-made bench her father made. She rubbed her hands over it to feel the...