Simple Summaries

Everyday Use

Alice Walker

Simple Summary by Sarah Frank

·      Mrs Johnson, a large African-American mother of two daughters: Dee (the older) and Maggie (the younger).

o  Maggie is shy

o  Dee is bold

·      Mrs. Johnson tells us how she and the local church raised money to send Dee away for school

o  Dee came back reading

o  Maggie has bad eyesight and is possibly stupid

·       their old home recently burned down

·      Dee hasn’t seen the new house yet but she doesn’t want any of her friends to see it

·      Dee shows up with a short Muslim guy referred to as ‘Asalamalakim’ but named Hakim-a-barber.

·      Dee then tells Mrs Johnson she goes by Wangero Lee-wanika Kemanjo because her name felt too white and white people were oppressive to black people

·      Mrs. Johnson said she was named after her aunt Dicie but Dee counters that she was probably named after a white oppressor

·       Dee/Wangero looks through the house and notes which things she wants

o   Includes a quilt that Mrs. Johnson wants to save for Maggie’s marriage

o   Dee thinks Maggie won’t take care of the special quilts

o   Maggie says she can have it but Mrs. Johnson doesn’t let her have the one she’s holding

·      Dee tells her mom that she doesn’t understand African-American heritage

·      Dee tells Maggie not to just sit at home

·      Dee leaves with Hakim-a-barber