Everyday Use

Early on in Tuan’s chapter of “Attachment to Homeland” he states that “Human groups nearly everywhere tend to regard their own homeland as the center of the world. A people who believe they are at the center claim, implicitly, the ineluctable worth of their location” (Tuan 149). In Alice Walker’s story “Everyday Use” we see Tuans idea emanating from the unnamed narrators older daughter Dee.
Dee is the narrator’s older daughter who left home and got married to a classy city man and moved onto better more modern things than the rural, farm-like life her mother and younger sister still lived. Even though she seems to have moved onto “better” things she still feels an attachment to her home, almost as if it was something stylish to do. When Dee visits her mother she shows up with a new name (Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo) and clothing as well as her new man with his own odd name of Asalamalakim. Dee asks her mother to give her the family quilts which have been in their family for generations. She wanted the quilts to hang them up and frame them just for the sake of being stylish, keeping old relics of the past in the home as decoration seems to be some sort of modern/hip thing to do. When the mother refuses to let her have her way Dee says “You just don’t understand…Your heritage.” (Walker 461).
Apparently Dee seems to feel she has an even deeper attatchment to her “true” homeland which is Africa which explains why she adopted the Swahili name and began to act like a more noble and pretentious person. As if learning about her roots gave her a higher place than that of her mother and sister. She seems to feel the important things go beyond what she truly knows and that they are the origins of which she doesn’t really know.

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