recompose: to restore to calm; to settle again doctrine: a set of rules, beliefs, or values held by a group heritage: something passed down through generations, such as tradition, values, and property furtive: sneaky, secretive The character telling the story speaks as though it had happened to him or her personally. The narrator uses personal pronouns such as “I,” “me, “my, etc. Look at Quote and assert what this quote means about her character. “Why don’t you take one or two of the others?” I asked. “ These old things was just done by me and Big Dee from some tops your grandma pieced before she died.”(pg. 57) “I did something I never had done before: hugged Maggie to me, then dragger her on into the room, snatched the quilts out of Miss Wanger’s hands and dumped them in Maggie’s lap.” (pg.59). List positive and negative character traits. Look at Quote and assert what this quote means about her character. “Out she peeks next with a Polaroid. She stoops down quickly and lines up picture after picture of me sitting there in front of the house with Maggie cowering behind me.”(54) “Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts!”she said.” “She’d probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use.” (pg.58) “You just don’t understand,…your heritage.””It’s really a new day for us. But from the way you and Mama still live you’d never know it.” (pg.59) List positive and negative character traits. Look at Quote and assert what this quote means about her character. “She can have them, Mama,” she said, like somebody used to never winning anything, or having anything reserved for her. “pg. 59 She looked at her sister with something like fear but she wasn’t mad at her. This was Maggie’s portion. This was the way she knew God to work.” pg. 59 List positive and negative character traits. Verbal Irony: The result of a statement saying one thing while meaning the opposite. Look at Quote and assert what this quote means about his character. “He just stood there grinning, looking down on me like somebody inspecting a Model A car. Every once and a while he and Wangero sent eye signals over my head.” “I accept some of their doctrines, but farming and raising cattle is not my style.” List positive and negative character traits. Push for African Americans to get back to African roots The Civil Rights Era: “A New Day for Us” This story is set in the 60’s- a time when two of the most significant pieces of Civil Rights regulation were passed. The Civil Rights Act of ‘64 made segregation in public places illegal. The Voting Rights Act of ‘65 made certain requirements for voting in the South, such as poll taxes and literacy tests illegal. During this time, many blacks sought to establish themselves as a visible and unified group and take control of how their group was named. Black (and later Afro-American) replaced the term Negro, which took on offensive associations. Many black Americans, uninspired by a bleak history of slavery in North America, looked to their African roots in an effort to reconnect with their past. Dee was fortunate that Mama gave her the opportunity for advantages and refinements, but they have served only to create a wedge between Dee and the rest of the family. Dee uses her intellect to intimidate others, greeting her mother with “Wa-su-zo Tean-o,” a greeting in an obscure African language Mama most likely doesn’t speak. Dee, with her knowledge and worldliness, is a threat to the simple world Mama and Maggie inhabit, and Dee seems determined to lord her knowledge over them. Even as a child, Dee read to her mother and sister “without pity,” “forcing” strange ideas on them and unsettling their simple domestic contentment. Angered by what she views as a history of oppression in her family, Dee has constructed a new heritage for herself and rejected her real heritage. She fails to see the family legacy of her given name and takes on a new name, Wangero, which she believes more accurately represents her African heritage. However, the new name, like the “African” clothes and jewelry she wears to make a statement, is meaningless. She has little true understanding of Africa, so what she considers her true heritage is actually empty and false. Furthermore, Dee views her real heritage as dead, something of the past, rather than as a living, ongoing creation. She desires the carved dasher and family quilts, but she sees them as artifacts of a lost time, suitable for display but not for actual, practical use. She has set herself outside her own history, rejecting her real heritage in favor of a constructed one. “Everyday Use” focuses on the bonds between women of different generations and their enduring legacy, as symbolized in the quilts they fashion together. This connection between generations is strong, yet Dee’s arrival and lack of understanding of her history shows that those bonds are vulnerable as well. The relationship between Aunt Dicie and Mama, the experienced seamstresses who made the quilts, is very different from the relationship between Maggie and Dee, sisters who share barely a word and have almost nothing in common The quilts are pieces of living history, documents in fabric that chronicle the lives of the various generations and the trials, such as war and poverty, that they faced. The quilts serve as a testament to a family’s history of pride and struggle. With the limitations that poverty and lack of education placed on her life, Mama considers her personal history one of her few treasures. Her house contains the handicrafts of her extended family. Instead of receiving a financial inheritance from her ancestors, Mama has been given the quilts. Mama’s yard represents a private space free of the regrets and shortcomings that have infiltrated Mama’s life. The yard appears in the first and last sentences of the story, connecting the events and bookending the action. The yard has been meticulously prepared for Dee’s arrival. Mama is sensitive to every detail of the yard’s appearance, referring to the wavy designs she and Maggie have made in the dirt as they tidied it. The yard is a blissful escape, a place where Mama’s regrets can be sidestepped. For her and Maggie, the yard evokes safety, a place where they can exert what little control they have over their environment.