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    The Shy Character of Maggie in Everyday Use, a Short Story by Alice Walker

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    Alice Walker wrote a short story called Everyday Use, in that short story is a girl named Maggie. You would think character analysis would be super easy, but it is not. The hard part is picking the character to analysis out of the stories that we have read in the Mercury Reader. So after many days of thought I chose Maggie who is ashamed of herself and the complete opposite of Dee.

    Maggie is ashamed of herself because of the scars that run up and down her arms and legs, causing Maggie to be scared of others because she thinks she is an ugly person. These scars where caused from a fire that burned her house down when she was a child. Another reason she is ashamed of herself is because of her sister, Dee; who Maggie thinks has held life in the palm of one hand. While growing up Dee was always ashamed of her family and heritage; so since Dee treated Maggie like she was ashamed of her, so when Dee was around Maggie would stand hopelessly in corners eying her sister with a mixture of envy and awe.

    Dee also made Maggie feel ashamed of herself by showing Maggie that she wasn’t smart, Dee would force Maggie and her mom to sit and listen while Dee would read to them making them feel like dimwits. So mostly Maggie is ashamed of herself because of the way she was treated while she was growing by her older sister Dee.

    Maggie and Dee are portrayed as complete opposites in Everyday Use. She changed her clothes, hair, and even her name to something that she thought would help her hold on to her heritage. In doing this, she completely annihilated one part of her heritage: her childhood. In acquiring a new identity and becoming a new person, she destroyed who she was, and who her family knew her as. So, ironically, while living up to her heritage, she also destroyed part of her heritage.  one is the quiet, good hearted type, while the other is selfish and doesn’t know the meaning “no”.

    Maggie has a pure heart, she is uncorrupted by the outside world; she is not selfish and has a generous nature. While on the other hand Dee is an arrogant and insensitive person, who doesn’t care about anyone but herself. Maggie is shy, quiet and doesn’t like to be around other people, but Dee has to be the center of attention and has a quick tongue. Also Dee is really smart and always loved to rub it in her family’s face, while Maggie is not that bright but knows all about her heritage and family background. So Dee is like the bad, not caring child and Maggie the good shy child.

    Maggie is a real quite girl, who is ashamed of how she looks and is the complete opposite of her older sister, Dee. The reason she is ashamed of herself not only because of the burn scars running up and down her arms and legs; but because of the way Dee treated her, Maggie might have been a different person if Dee treated her differently.

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    The Shy Character of Maggie in Everyday Use, a Short Story by Alice Walker. (2022, Dec 13). Retrieved from

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