Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Essay on Maggie in Everyday Use

The Character of Maggie Essay

Maggie is one of the two story narrator’s daughters, the youngest one. We get acquainted with her mostly by means of Mama’s description, Mama’s view, but partly due to the replicas of her sister Dee as well.

The fate of Maggie is rather tragic. She has barely survived the fire, unleashed by her sister, and has received awful injuries both to her body and to her soul: “Sometimes I can still hear the flames and feel Maggie’s arms sticking to me, her hair smoking and her dress falling off her in little black papery flakes”, recollects the narrator (Walker 25). Having withstood such a deep stress, Maggie has become a bit awkward and homely with her feet shuffling, eyes hidden, “the burn scars down her arms and legs” (Walker 23) and her thin corpus moving clumsily. Knowing, that she is far not perfect, she tries to be unnoticeable and stands “hopelessly in the corners” (Walker 23); cowers, tries to escape attention to her personality, tending to be invisible. She is really ashamed of her ugly scars and doesn’t know where to hide her undermined heart.

What does she have to oppose to her sister? The latter is firm, confident and purposeful: Maggie is sure, that “her sister has held life always in the palm of one hand, that “no” is a word the world never learned to say to her” (Walker 23). She is educated and knows her own price. She could no longer stay under the oppression of the old poor house, of her narrow-minded family. All her nature has always struggled for something better and more essential, and being a fighter, she is never going to look back for someone left behind: “She would always look anyone in the eye.

Hesitation was no part of her nature” (Walker 25).

Meanwhile, Maggie does know about herself that “she is not bright” (Walker 26). Mama emphasizes that “Dee is lighter than Maggie, with nicer hair and a fuller figure” (Walker 25) and adds: “Like good looks and money, quickness passes her [Maggie] by” (Walker 26).

And it’s quite natural, that Maggie feels much envy as well as awe to her more successful sister. Dee-Wangero brings much glimpse and tinsel from the world, Maggie will never get a bare chance to get acquainted with. She tries to suit with her maybe the most festive red blouse and pink skirt and really falls apart when “Asalamalakim” turns to her with greeting. What is more, Dee-Wangero takes her less fortunate sister with nothing but hatred and disguise. She enjoys calling her foolish, with “brain like an elephant’s” (Walker 30).

What can Maggie have in common with such people? With people, who try to find benefits everywhere around them, even if it formally means the robbery of the poorest and the dearest…

Maggie does have much to oppose to them. Deep inside her touchy tender world she has a priceless treasure. She is true and honest. She is wounded by Dee’s attitude to churn, which has long and respectful history. Family values mean much to Maggie, what is alien to Dee-Wangero. And though Maggie’s protest is rather weak and generally implicit, this strong passionate faith to routs is her reliable core.

Mama has promised to make the reliquary quilts a wedding present for Maggie.

Dee-Wangero considers such a decision to be stupid, she claims, that her sister can never appreciate such a thing. But it is Dee herself, who can’t appreciate the true values of her family!

It goes without saying, that such accuse depresses Maggie. But instead of protest and justifications, she wants the quits to be given to her sister. We may think that’s just nothing but the evidence of her weakness, of her disability to fight, of her decision to give up. Moreover, Mama describes her act as the behavior of someone accustomed to loss or never “having anything reserved for her” (Walker 34).

Should we look deeper? Without any doubt. Having nothing but calamities and struggles throughout her life, Maggie is strong enough and wise to please her sister, who is morally poorer.

It is Dee-Wangero who deserves compassion, not Maggie. Leading her way to the high purpose, Dee stayed blind to the real beauty of her origin; she stayed deaf to the voice of her ancestors. She betrayed her family, she betrayed her name for better life, for artificial wellness:

“No, Mama,” she says. “Not ‘Dee’, Wangero Leewanika
“What happened to ‘Dee’?” I wanted to know.
“She’s dead,” Wangero said. “I couldn’t bear it any longer,
being named after the people who oppress me.” (Walker 28)

Maggie, being trapped in the surroundings she grew up in, is able to carry the torch of her family tradition through the ages, through the rains and hurricanes of life. She has truth on her side and deserves much respect, what has been fortunately appreciated by Mama.

We can’t say that her future life may to any extent be enviable or full of joy. Of course, it’s hard to imagine her completely happy or successful. But that is the one who makes us recollect our own mistakes, revise our own system of values and realize the range of our problems, often far-fetched and absurd.
Warning!!! All free online essays, sample essays and essay examples on Maggie topics are plagiarized and cannot be completely used in your school, college or university education.

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