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Mama In "Everyday Use"

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Mama in “Every Day Use”

The character of Mama in the short story “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker perseveres through

tough times and makes the most of what she has. She is a woman that tells things how they are, nothing

but the plain truth. She can be humorous at times and tough at others. She is self-described as “a large,

big boned, woman with rough, man-working hands. ” Growing up poor, Mama had to work hard to

raise her family. She could kill and clean a hog as mercilessly as a man could, work outside in the bitter

cold, breaking ice for water for washing, and she could even kill a pig with a sledge hammer and have

the meat hung before nightfall. She could do it all, with the exception of raising her daughters while

fully understanding them. Mama had a tough time disciplining her daughters fairly.

Mama gradually rejects the superficial values of her older, successful daughter in favor

of the practical values of her younger, less fortunate daughter. In this story many conflicts come about

between the two daughters and Mama has a tough time dealing with them. The main conflict of the

story was the controversy over who should rightfully own the quilts.

The quilts were a symbol of their African-American Heritage, these quilts meant a lot to their

Entire family, everybody wanted them. In the end of the story when Maggie and



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