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"Everyday Use," by Alice Walker (1973)

Author: Alice Walker

Walker, Alice. "Everyday Use." Literature: a Portable Anthology, edited by Janet E. Gardner et al., Bedford/St. Martin's, 2017.

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I will wait for her in the yard that Maggie and I made so clean and wavy yesterday afternoon. A yard like this is more comfortable than most people know. It is not just a yard. It is like an extended living room. When the hard clay is swept clean as a floor and the fine sand around the edges lined with tiny, irregular grooves, anyone can come and sit and look up into the elm tree and wait for the breezes that never come inside the house.

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Nov 16
Aboubakar D (Nov 16 2019 5:11PM) : It think this pragrph is the describe of the yard.
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Nov 18
Oumy D (Nov 18 2019 12:47PM) : I would somebody to clarify this sentence for me because I don't understand what the author means. [Edited]
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Nov 19
Hanna S (Nov 19 2019 2:46PM) : This paragraph just describes the yard that Mama lives in. She is emphasizing the beauty of the yard that she lives in.
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Nov 19
Oumy D (Nov 19 2019 2:56PM) : okay thanks Hanna
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Nov 19
Yeanoor C (Nov 19 2019 2:50PM) : Oumy , In this lines, Maggie is saying , everything in the world falls up in Dee foot. Additionally, she did not get rejected by anything that she wants to gain or craved
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Nov 19
Oumy D (Nov 19 2019 2:54PM) : oh thanks you make sense now...
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Nov 19
Aboubakar D (Nov 19 2019 2:51PM) : je l'enttenderai dans la cour. la cour que Maggie et mois nous avons nettoye hier soire.
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Nov 18
Emely L (Nov 18 2019 7:14PM) : Simile more

The author is compare the yard with the living room using the word “like”

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Nov 19
Fatema R (Nov 19 2019 2:50PM) : agree more

I’m totally agree with you. They really like to keep the yard clean.

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Nov 19
Oumy D (Nov 19 2019 2:53PM) : to be honest I did not understand the story but when re-read it makes sense, but you did it Emely by identifying one of the element. and it helped me more for the understanding of the story
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Nov 18
Emely L (Nov 18 2019 7:25PM) : Question more

What happen to Maggie she had an accident ? why her skin is burn ?

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Nov 18
Idelkys C (Nov 18 2019 8:02PM) : Emely more

Emely, I think that in the middle of the story, it slightly describes that they lived in a house before, the one that they actually lived. From my inference in the story, looks like Maggie suffered some burns from that and it is why Maggie is a bit underestimated in comparison with her sister Dee. It is why the mother always describes Dee as the most beautiful. Also Maggie makes Dee remember that past and Dee does not like it. It is why they do not get that much along each other

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Nov 19
Housseynatou D (Nov 19 2019 2:46PM) : I don't think Dee is showing to Maggie that she feels bad about her jalousie.
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Nov 19
Fatema R (Nov 19 2019 2:56PM) : Maggie got burned, when her house was on the fire.
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Nov 19
Yeanoor C (Nov 19 2019 2:59PM) : Emily, The house Maggie used to live, it got burned by the flame of fire.Maggie was inside of the house the while Dee was outside and feeling happy to see that the house is burnig ,Because she hated the house. more

Because of the accident, Maggie’s self-conscious are not letting to come out from her comfort zone

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Nov 18
El-Hassn S (Nov 18 2019 8:14PM) : Describing Setting and Introducing Maggie and Mama
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Nov 19
Oumy D (Nov 19 2019 2:56PM) : good thinking!!!
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Nov 19
Hanna S (Nov 19 2019 8:18AM) : mama is fantasizing about the reunion she might have with Dee on television
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Nov 19
Lenin V (Nov 19 2019 2:55PM) : This paragraph is a description of the yard of the house. The author is comparing the yard whit a living room.
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Nov 19
Oumy D (Nov 19 2019 2:57PM) : look like a simile or a metaphor
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Jan 23
Ahmed e (Jan 23 2020 3:20PM) : What a description of the yard. more

What a description of the yard, It seems like the yard is so important for them!!

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May 4
Dawry C (May 04 2021 10:46AM) : summary/question [Edited] more

this paragraph just describes the yard that Maggie made so clean and wavy yesterday afternoon she said people feel comfortable because of the yard “it is not just a yard” is more likely like a extended living room./ i feel like they really like that yard what is so Importand about the yard.

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May 6
Tristan M (May 06 2021 11:04AM) : description of the Yard more

It’s being said that the Yard is not just as we can see, that it is like an extended living room

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Apr 29
Dawry C (Apr 29 2021 11:00AM) : summary more

i think this paragraph is describing what is happing in the yard.

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Nov 15
Oumy D (Nov 15 2019 12:29PM) : the sentence is really descriptive. I like the idea that the author is using figurative language
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Nov 15
Housseynatou D (Nov 15 2019 12:53PM) : The author used imagery to illustrate the living in the house and description of the house.
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Nov 19
Oumy D (Nov 19 2019 2:59PM) : Sorry but can you tell me which imagery the author used
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Nov 15
Leticia Z (Nov 15 2019 12:56PM) : I like the way the author use the imagery to descriptive how the yard.
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Jun 10
Keily M (Jun 10 2021 10:32AM) : Connection more

I agree with the author imagery because that’s exactly how it makes me feels when Im in my grandmothers house in DR.

Maggie will be nervous until after her sister goes: she will stand hopelessly in corners, homely and ashamed of the burn scars down her arms and legs, eying her sister with a mixture of envy and awe. She thinks 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.

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Nov 18
El-Hassn S (Nov 18 2019 8:17PM) : Maggie relationship with her sister, Dee. more

Maggie does NOT feel satisfied about her life. She also thinks that her sister Dee has a beeter life than her and live was so lucky with her.

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Nov 19
Fatoumata D (Nov 19 2019 2:47PM) : I'm agree with you she want what her sister's life. [Edited]
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Nov 19
Leticia Z (Nov 19 2019 2:49PM) : why do you agree with that? can you explain me clearly?
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Nov 19
Denieris M (Nov 19 2019 2:57PM) : it is true that Maggie do not feel satisfy about how she's living her life because she feels that everything around her isn't worthy enough for anyone as well that she wants to live other people's life but mostly her sister because she thinks that her.... more

sister have a perfect life.

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May 11
Tristan M (May 11 2021 10:28AM) : I totally agree because Maggie really think that she will always be behind her sister because she thinks(her sister) she's perfect
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Nov 19
Oumy D (Nov 19 2019 3:00PM) : so is Maggie struggling or conflicting with her sister's attitude toward her
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Nov 19
Aboubakar D (Nov 19 2019 3:02PM) : I hope she will not do something bad. I noticed that in the begging she was kink of jealous and sad.
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Nov 19
Denieris M (Nov 19 2019 2:53PM) : not confident about her sister looks and mortify by the way she looks in a way in which her need to feel the envy was meking her fell sad, hopeless.
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May 7
Jessica H (May 07 2021 9:27AM) : Maggie assumes everything has been easy, and therefore better, for her sister, but it's not necessarily true.
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Nov 15
Housseynatou D (Nov 15 2019 12:57PM) : This part shows that Maggie feels nervous and ashamed just because her sister is more presentable than her.
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Nov 19
El-Hossin S (Nov 19 2019 9:43AM) : Maggie is feeling jealous of her sister due to her belief that she has the world in her hand
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Nov 19
Emely L (Nov 19 2019 2:47PM) : Housseynatou more

Yes, that what I also belief the Maggie feel insecure about her self after the accident.

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Nov 19
Aboubakar D (Nov 19 2019 3:05PM) : I think The TV show that watched on TV also have and effect on her in addition to the accident.
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Nov 17
Aboubakar D (Nov 17 2019 1:54PM) : I hope she will not do something bad to her sister, I says that because I think ahe jalouse. of her sister
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Nov 17
Aboubakar D (Nov 17 2019 1:56PM) : soory guy it was the next I wanted to selecte
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Nov 19
Oumy D (Nov 19 2019 3:05PM) : how that sentence show you that she going to do something bad to her sister
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May 26
yeury n (May 26 2021 10:01AM) : Yeah she jealous but I don’t think she would do anything to her sister
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Nov 19
Issaka D (Nov 19 2019 12:00PM) : Maggie's sister more

This sentence shows how Maggie’s sister doesn’t not no how to say “no” which to her is due to the incident she had.

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Nov 19
Abigail Z (Nov 19 2019 3:01PM) : I think the sentence means that Dee has never received "no" as answer because everything has be given to her
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Jan 20
Issaka D (Jan 20 2020 6:24PM) : Maggie view more

Maggie thinks that her sister has her whole life ahead of her and she is promist to a bright future

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May 6
Dewry C (May 06 2021 10:55AM) : summary [Edited] more

i think miggie dont want her sister to control her future

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(May 06 2021 11:01AM) : Wait... the narrator, the mother, is saying that Maggie thinks her sister could do anything she wants to do in life -- never accepting "no" from anybody. Do you see that?
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May 17
yeury n (May 17 2021 11:15AM) : She is a lucky girl because nobody says no to her
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(May 17 2021 11:21AM) : Funny, I get a different feeling from this sentence. I think it is saying that Dee ACTED like you can't say "no" to her, not that it never happened. So that means that she is confident and personally forceful, not that she is lucky. See what I mean?
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Jun 10
Keily M (Jun 10 2021 10:40AM) : Comment more

I believe Meggie’s sister while growing u everything was handed to her.

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Jun 10
Jessica H (Jun 10 2021 10:45AM) : At least in terms of natural abilities, like innate intelligence, if not material things.

You've no doubt seen those TV shows where the child who has "made it" is confronted, as a surprise, by her own mother and father, tottering in weakly from backstage. (A pleasant surprise, of course: What would they do if parent and child came on the show only to curse out and insult each other?) On TV mother and child embrace and smile into each other's faces. Sometimes the mother and father weep, the child wraps them in her arms and leans across the table to tell how she would not have made it without their help. I have seen these programs.

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Nov 17
Aboubakar D (Nov 17 2019 2:01PM) : ib this paragraph she comparing her hife to TV shows. but Aas we know the real life is different then the one in the TV.
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Nov 18
Yeanoor C (Nov 18 2019 7:09PM) : Maggie is dreaming to be do somethings unique which will makes her feels proud and happy
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Nov 19
Hanna S (Nov 19 2019 8:20AM) : mama is fantasizing about the reunion she might have with Dee on television
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Nov 19
El-Hossin S (Nov 19 2019 9:59AM) : She is indulged in daydreaming about the reunion she wants to have with Dee on TV. :)
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Nov 19
Lenin V (Nov 19 2019 3:15PM) : Maggie dreams of going to a famous program with Dee and making her mother proud of them.
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May 6
Tristan M (May 06 2021 11:07AM) : The mother of Maggie compare her live with her children being together in a TV show [Edited]
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Nov 18
Yeanoor C (Nov 18 2019 6:55PM) : Mama fantasizes about reunion scenes on this television programs in which a successful daughter embraces the parents who have made her success possible. [Edited]
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Sometimes I dream a dream in which Dee and I are suddenly brought together on a TV program of this sort. Out of a dark and soft-seated limousine I am ushered into a bright room filled with many people. There I meet a smiling, gray, sporty man like Johnny Carson who shakes my hand and tells me what a fine girl I have. Then we are on the stage and Dee is embracing me with tears in her eyes. She pins on my dress a large orchid, even though she has told me once that she thinks orchids are tacky flowers.

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Nov 18
El-Hassn S (Nov 18 2019 8:20PM) : Mama and relationship with Dee and Mama's wishes. more

Mama wishes that the relationship with her daughter Dee became better and they stay on good terms.

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May 7
Dawry C (May 07 2021 9:42AM) : question more

why they not taking classes for then can become film stars because if they love tv shows take classes and learn.

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May 7
Jessica H (May 07 2021 9:50AM) : They lived in Georgia, in the country, during segregation. There were no classes to take for Black girls to learn to be film stars. more

This might be what the house looked like:

https://images.app.goo.gl/uigrbGAXBDC3Xmhq8

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May 11
Tristan M (May 11 2021 10:39AM) : the mother knew that it will be only a dream because her situation made it impossible for them to get into a TV. As shown on the image that was surely where there lived
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Nov 18
Emely L (Nov 18 2019 7:34PM) : Question more

Who is Johnny Carson ?

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Nov 19
Lenin V (Nov 19 2019 3:05PM) : Johnny Carson was a famous American comedian in the TV.
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May 6
Jessica H (May 06 2021 11:04AM) : He had Jimmy Fallon's job a long time ago.
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Nov 19
Hanna S (Nov 19 2019 8:29AM) : it is crucial that mama imagine herself with lighter skin-tone while she is fantasizing about the reunion with her daughter. This implies that mama wishes to fit into her daughter's life but she cannot.
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May 7
Dawry C (May 07 2021 9:59AM) : summary/question more

so this guy johnny carson is like a jimmy fallon before jimmy fallon wow

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In real life I am a large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands. In the winter I wear flannel nightgowns to bed and overalls dur.ing the day. I can kill and clean a hog as mercilessly as a man. My fat keeps me hot in zero weather. I can work outside all day, breaking ice to get water for washing; I can eat pork liver cooked over the open fire minutes after it comes steaming from the hog. One winter I knocked a bull calf straight in the brain between the eyes with a sledgehammer and had the meat hung up to chill before nightfall. But of course all this does not show on television. I am the way my daughter would want me to be: a hundred pounds lighter, my skin like an uncooked barley pancake. My hair glistens in the hot bright lights. Johnny Carson has much to do to keep up with my quick and witty tongue.

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Nov 17
Aboubakar D (Nov 17 2019 2:06PM) : fhis is the description of her real life. there is a big doefference between them. ( Tv life and realy life.
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Nov 18
Fatoumata D (Nov 18 2019 8:46AM) : I like how the author used imagery the described her skin and her hair.
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Nov 18
Housseynatou D (Nov 18 2019 2:15PM) : This part indicates that how she does not feel confident on herself. She even takes herself as a man. Showing that she can do anything that a man can do.
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Nov 18
El-Hassn S (Nov 18 2019 8:21PM) : Mama's characteristics more

She is a tough woman and she has a hard life

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Nov 19
Hanna S (Nov 19 2019 8:42AM) : Mama breaks out of her reverie to explain the realities of her life unlike the slim and lighter skin fantasy of herself on john arson show. mama has a darker skin big boned women wearing overalls instead of feminine clothing. She is also masculine.
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May 11
Tristan M (May 11 2021 10:44AM) : She Imagines A life that is completely opposed to the real life
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Nov 19
El-Hossin S (Nov 19 2019 10:04AM) : Characteristics of Mama's personality and her physical figure
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Nov 19
Leticia Z (Nov 19 2019 10:36AM) : In this statement her mother want to please her daughter.
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Nov 19
abdallah s (Nov 19 2019 11:08AM) : this show how today's world face identity is prevalent and the real life issue and struggle is accountable
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Nov 19
Oumy D (Nov 19 2019 3:03PM) : so you are trying to connect this with the real world, as your point of view or what!!!!
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May 7
Jessica H (May 07 2021 9:35AM) : This was back in the late 1960s, when television was working hard to create images of what people should want to be, want to do, want to have.... more

…and there were not a lot of Black people seen on television yet.

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May 7
Jessica H (May 07 2021 9:37AM) : The mother is saying, you can dream all you want, but this is what I look like and what I do in my life. more

And she says it without judgment; just a statement of fact.

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Jun 10
Keily M (Jun 10 2021 10:48AM) : comment more

Mama keeps comparing herself to a man because that’s how strong and tough woman she is meaning her life is not easy.

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Nov 19
Issaka D (Nov 19 2019 3:13PM) : Imagery is used to describe how the mother physical appearance
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May 10
Dawry C (May 10 2021 10:49AM) : summary more

she is a hard working women that take care of her children.

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May 10
Dewry C (May 10 2021 10:54AM) : connection more

this story is similar to the book of thank you ma’n because they are to strong women.

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Nov 18
Emely L (Nov 18 2019 7:50PM) : Opinion more

The author is a woman who work hard as a man, she is not a fashion person who dedicate her time to herself.

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But that is a mistake. I know even before I wake up. Whoever knew a Johnson with a quick tongue? Who can even imagine me looking a strange white man in the eye? It seems to me I have talked to them always with one foot raised in flight, with my head fumed in whichever way is farthest from them. Dee, though. She would always look anyone in the eye. Hesitation was no part of her nature.

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Nov 19
Hanna S (Nov 19 2019 8:45AM) : Mama low self seem emerges from the fact that she is black and she sees herself less than white people.
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Nov 19
El-Hossin S (Nov 19 2019 10:22AM) : Mama is insecure about her dark skin, and her insecurity seems to be an obstacles to accomplish her dreams, unlike her daughter, Dee, she is confident and fearless.
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Nov 19
Denieris M (Nov 19 2019 3:02PM) : on this paragraph we can observe how Maggie compare herself a lot with her sister, its so that Maggie thinks that her sister wouldn't be hesitant on talking to a guy because her sister was so friendly and social that she is capable of doing everything. more

at the same time Maggie thinks that her possibilities of doing something good aren’t to good and she would never try because on her mind everything would go wrong.

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Jun 10
Keily M (Jun 10 2021 10:54AM) : comment more

I can tell Mama is insecure about to talking to someone in the eyes either because of her skin color or maybe she’s naturally shy unlike her daughter.

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Jun 10
Jessica H (Jun 10 2021 11:05AM) : I see her as kind of in between the two daughters in her level of confidence...More confident than Maggie, less confident than Dee.
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Nov 19
Hanna S (Nov 19 2019 8:46AM) : Mama describes Dee as a person who is fearful and have confidence.
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Nov 19
Housseynatou D (Nov 19 2019 2:57PM) : This is what Maggie never felt about herself. This always thinks that the burn she had on arm and leg would make people to not want to talk to her or to even pay attention to her.
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May 11
Tristan M (May 11 2021 10:54AM) : I learned that Dee doesn't have fear and can confront to any one

"How do I look, Mama?" Maggie says, showing just enough of her thin body enveloped in pink skirt and red blouse for me to know she's there, almost hidden by the door.

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Nov 18
El-Hassn S (Nov 18 2019 8:24PM) : N/A more

Maggie is a shy person because of his burn scars on her body

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Nov 19
El-Hossin S (Nov 19 2019 10:47AM) : Maggie is timid of her body flaws, burn scars.

"Come out into the yard," I say.

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Have you ever seen a lame animal, perhaps a dog run over by some careless person rich enough to own a car, sidle up to someone who is ignorant enough to be kind to him? That is the way my Maggie walks. She has been like this, chin on chest, eyes on ground, feet in shuffle, ever since the fire that burned the other house to the ground.

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Nov 19
Hanna S (Nov 19 2019 8:51AM) : Mama describes Maggie as a wounded animal who has to live her subjugated to forces greater than her own will
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Jan 20
Issaka D (Jan 20 2020 6:48PM) : Maggie descriptions
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Nov 18
Emely L (Nov 18 2019 7:58PM) : Opinions more

The answer to why Maggie has her skin burned.
Describing Maggie as a timid person

Dee is lighter than Maggie, with nicer hair and a fuller figure. She's a woman now, though sometimes I forget. How long ago was it that the other house burned? Ten, twelve years? 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. Her eyes seemed stretched open, blazed open by the flames reflected in them. And Dee. I see her standing off under the sweet gum tree she used to dig gum out of; a look of concentration on her face as she watched the last dingy gray board of the house fall in toward the red-hot brick chimney. Why don't you do a dance around the ashes? I'd wanted to ask her. She had hated the house that much.

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Nov 18
Yeanoor C (Nov 18 2019 7:25PM) : Past was reflects back. when Maggie was little her arms and legs burned due to fire on house. Dee was happy to see the flame of house because she hated the house. Even, she did not feels concern and sad about Maggie.
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Nov 18
Emely L (Nov 18 2019 8:04PM) : Questions more

How the house got burned ?
Why Dee had hated the house ? that happen before or after the tragedy.

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Nov 18
El-Hassn S (Nov 18 2019 8:27PM) : Flashback and the difference between Maggie and Dee. more

Dee has more confidence than her sister because of her physical apperance. Mama remembered the accdiecnt that left scars on Maggie.

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Nov 19
El-Hossin S (Nov 19 2019 10:59AM) : Maggie seems to resent her old house that, in fact, she wanted the house to be annihilated by the fire.
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Nov 19
Emely L (Nov 19 2019 2:52PM) : El-Hossin more

I guess that Maggie and Dee both hated the old house
I wonder why ?

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Jan 23
Ahmed e (Jan 23 2020 3:39PM) : Mama describes Dee and her sister.
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Jan 25
Ahmed e (Jan 25 2020 12:11AM) : The differences between Dee and Maggie! more

Dee had stronger characteristics then Dee because She like to show up, while Maggie don’t.

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Jun 10
Keily M (Jun 10 2021 11:08AM) : comment/question. more

She still gets, can i say PTSD? or flashback from their house burning down.

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Jun 10
Jessica H (Jun 10 2021 12:58PM) : Yes! That's exactly what it was, even though it didn't have that name yet.
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Nov 19
Eros M (Nov 19 2019 3:04PM) : it implicate the smalls differences between the two sisters more

Dee is being describe with some source of admiration to her being that can possibly be the opposite for Maggie

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Nov 19
Fatoumata D (Nov 19 2019 3:13PM) : Dee is more lighter than her sister and her sister feel less beautiful.
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Nov 19
Celines Z (Nov 19 2019 10:54AM) : Mama describe a her two daughter's based in her perspective.
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Nov 19
Leticia Z (Nov 19 2019 3:08PM) : yes you have right she characterizes her two daughters base on how she views them.
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Jan 26
Eros M (Jan 26 2020 3:04PM) : The idea that Dee is more mature then Maggie is an overstatement more

Because Dee wouldn’t handle what Maggie go through everyday.

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Nov 19
Housseynatou D (Nov 19 2019 3:00PM) : Their mother was telling the story of how their house got burned. In my own perspective this would make Maggie to feel more bad about herself.
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May 12
Dawry C (May 12 2021 10:52AM) : summary more

maggie arm burn because of the fire in the house

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May 12
Tristan M (May 12 2021 11:10AM) : Maggie get a trauma and feels shy of her burn she got twelve years ago
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Jan 20
Issaka D (Jan 20 2020 6:51PM) : Dee feelings for the old house more

Dee had always hated the old house and was happy when it burning down to aches

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May 26
yeury n (May 26 2021 10:43AM) : She wasn’t happy cause house burn now
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May 26
Jessica H (May 26 2021 10:47AM) : Maggie wasn't just unhappy...what happened to her in that fire?
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Nov 19
Hanna S (Nov 19 2019 8:53AM) : Mama describes The grudges that Dee holds against her old house because the old house for her represents her poor and farming live.
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May 17
yeury n (May 17 2021 11:21AM) : So they were there when fire started?
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May 7
Dewry C (May 07 2021 9:32AM) : question more

why did she hated her house so much

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May 7
Jessica H (May 07 2021 9:39AM) : Since Dee was book-smart and world-smart, she read and saw TV about a world different from the way she lived, and started hating the way she lived. more

The house was a simple country house, and she wanted more than that.

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May 12
Dewry C (May 12 2021 10:53AM) : oh now i understand
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May 12
Tristan M (May 12 2021 10:55AM) : I think that Dee is turning more in a superficial or material person because she doesn't like are way to live and prefer to live as a in the TV shows
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May 12
Dawry C (May 12 2021 10:57AM) : summary more

i think what she is trying to say is that maggie is tired of living the poor live she wants more than that and she wants to become a Actris.

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I used to think she hated Maggie, too. But that was before we raised money, the church and me, to send her to Augusta to school. She used to read to us without pity; forcing words, lies, other folks' habits, whole lives upon us two, sitting trapped and ignorant underneath her voice. She washed us in a river of make-believe, burned us with a lot of knowledge we didn't necessarily need to know. Pressed us to her with the serf' ous serious way she read, to shove us away at just the moment, like dimwits, we seemed about to understand.

I used to think she hated Maggie, too. But that was before we raised money, the church and me, to send her to Augusta to school. She used to read to us without pity; forcing words, lies, other folks' habits, whole lives upon us two, sitting trapped and ignorant underneath her voice. She washed us in a river of make-believe, burned us with a lot of knowledge we didn't necessarily need to know. Pressed us to her with the serious way she read, to shove us away at just the moment, like dimwits, we seemed about to understand.

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Nov 18
Yeanoor C (Nov 18 2019 7:27PM) : This shows that narrator who is Mama has a misconception about her daughter Dee.
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Nov 18
El-Hassn S (Nov 18 2019 8:31PM) : Conflict more

Dee manupilate and control her family because they are ignorant. She brainwashed them.

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Nov 19
Emely L (Nov 19 2019 2:55PM) : El-Hassn more

She is ungrateful

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Nov 19
El-Hossin S (Nov 19 2019 11:04AM) : Maggie thrust unnecessary knowledge upon her mother and her sister to make them feel inferior. [Edited]
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May 7
Jessica H (May 07 2021 9:55AM) : Here's the thing: Dee had intellectual intelligence, and her mother and sister had practical intelligence. more

Both kinds are valuable, and both are necessary. But Dee didn’t know that at the time.

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May 17
Tristan M (May 17 2021 10:52AM) : The mother also thought that Dee didn't like Maggie but she saw that it wasn't true. Maybe Dee's intellectual thought is why she is different from her mother's and sister's folk habits or local thinking. [Edited]
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May 12
Dawry C (May 12 2021 11:11AM) : summary more

they raised money to send her to augusta to school because she wanted to live her own life without her mother and maggie she wanted to become a actris.

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Nov 16
Kadidja E (Nov 16 2019 8:33AM) : I like the way the author describe this important character who immediately allowed you to understand the situation.At same moment emotion is there.
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Nov 19
Oumy D (Nov 19 2019 3:09PM) : can you tell what kind of emotion?
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Nov 16
Fatoumata D (Nov 16 2019 10:12AM) : This sentence show that the narrature wish her life to be easier as in the TV.
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Jan 20
Issaka D (Jan 20 2020 6:55PM) : Dee's attitude towards her family more

She thinks she the head of the house because she gotten education and make everyone believe what she says

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Nov 18
Emely L (Nov 18 2019 8:12PM) : Opinions more

Dee is an ungrateful person treating everyone badly
why she hating her sister?

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Nov 19
Yeanoor C (Nov 19 2019 3:10PM) : Dee does not like Maggie because Mama promised Maggie that she will give it to the quilt which she is going to be for every day use. But, she wants it.

Dee wanted nice things. A yellow organdy dress to wear to her grad.uation from high school; black pumps to match a green suit she'd made from an old suit somebody gave me. She was determined to stare down any disaster in her efforts. Her eyelids would not flicker for minutes at a time. Often I fought off the temptation to shake her. At sixteen she had a style of her own: and knew what style was.

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Nov 18
Oumy D (Nov 18 2019 2:36PM) : according to Maggie, all the good things go to her sister Dee. while on the other hand, she always get the opposite. When Dee was 16 years old, she even got her own style.
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Nov 18
Yeanoor C (Nov 18 2019 7:28PM) : Dee was very stylist. She was getting things very easily compare to Maggie.
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Nov 18
El-Hassn S (Nov 18 2019 8:33PM) : Dee is persistent and, maybe, stubborn person.
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Nov 19
Hanna S (Nov 19 2019 8:59AM) : Dee as young girl always searched for what perceived as better. She didn't feel content about her life. She was always looking for more. She willed to be different than her rural family.
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Nov 19
El-Hossin S (Nov 19 2019 11:36AM) : Dee have always wanted to be a better person. She puts a lot of effort to accompplish that. She does not let any circumsatnces to turn her down.
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May 19
Tristan M (May 19 2021 10:47AM) : Dee more

I think that dee is too intelligent or got a different different vision of the world compare to her environment(family and countryside) and she knows that her place is else where.

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Jan 26
Eros M (Jan 26 2020 3:07PM) : It shows the materialist behavior of Dee more

She always wanted something to show her mom that she could of been much better than Maggie.

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Nov 18
Emely L (Nov 18 2019 8:15PM) : Opinions more

Dee is passing through her puberty, she is try to dress in a fashion way calling people attention with her look, she want to be different without be grateful to her parents

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Nov 19
Celines Z (Nov 19 2019 3:02PM) : Dee is materialist because she only think in herself and things that she need.
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Nov 19
abdallah s (Nov 19 2019 11:12AM) : Dee is ignorant since her mother endorsed the struggle she shall endure she doesn't really "the pain behind the gain"
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Jan 20
Issaka D (Jan 20 2020 7:00PM) : Dee's style more

Even tough she came from a poor family, she couldn’t care less about and shoes her style which isn’t close to her actual conditions. It’s not like somebody can blame her

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I never had an education myself. After second grade the school was closed down. Don't ask me why: in 1927 colored asked fewer questions than they do now. Sometimes Maggie reads to me. She stumbles along good-naturedly but can't see well. She knows she is not bright. Like good looks and money, quickness passes her by. She will marry John Thomas (who has mossy teeth in an earnest face) and then I'll be free to sit here and I guess just sing church songs to myself. Although I never was a good singer. Never could carry a tune. I was always better at a man's job. I used to love to milk till I was hooked in the side in '49. Cows are soothing and slow and don't bother you, unless you try to milk them the wrong way.

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Nov 18
El-Hassn S (Nov 18 2019 8:34PM) : More background info about Mama.
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Nov 19
El-Hossin S (Nov 19 2019 11:43AM) : Mama is ignorant which implies that she may misconecept her daughter's attiude.
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Nov 19
Celines Z (Nov 19 2019 12:28PM) : mama wants better education for her daughter's.
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Nov 19
Fatema R (Nov 19 2019 3:08PM) : agree more

Mama want to get better education but she couldn’t because of her color and when she was in 2nd grade her school was closed.

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Nov 19
Leticia Z (Nov 19 2019 3:11PM) : you have right Celines. She really her daughters to be instruct. It is the only thing she wants for them as her mother.
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Nov 19
Eros M (Nov 19 2019 3:13PM) : This entire paragraph demonstrate how limited Maggie knowledge really was and is something that could strongly contributes to the lock of respond that she presents trough out the story. more
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Nov 19
Hanna S (Nov 19 2019 9:02AM) : Mama describes people life on the 30 th. People were complacent about what they have because of the oppressive mechanism of racism that made life like Dee impossible to mama.
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May 27
Dewry C (May 27 2021 10:25AM) : connection more

she say that maggie reads to her sometime and that mean that they spend time together.

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May 27
Jessica H (May 27 2021 10:37AM) : Correct. Maggie is more accepting of her mother's traditional ways and is closer to her in general.
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Nov 18
Emely L (Nov 18 2019 8:20PM) : Opinions/ Questions more

The author is a black woman who always like to work in the farmer on the field as a man.

She like John as a husband to her daughter or not really?

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Nov 18
El-Hassn S (Nov 18 2019 8:55PM) : Maggy will marry a person who she loves
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Nov 18
Kadidja E (Nov 18 2019 8:22PM) : I like this part because it give us some description at the same the tone. Even though it's small sentence. Without forget the metaphor she use.
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May 12
Dewry C (May 12 2021 11:12AM) : connection more

the mother say that she like working at man job and she like the women in this would now.

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I have deliberately turned my back on the house. It is three rooms, just like the one that burned, except the roof is tin; they don't make shingle roofs any more. There are no real windows, just some holes cut in the sides, like the portholes in a ship, but not round and not square, with rawhide holding the shutters up on the outside. This house is in a pasture, too, like the other one. No doubt when Dee sees it she will want to tear it down. She wrote me once that no matter where we "choose" to live, she will manage to come see us. But she will never bring her friends. Maggie and I thought about this and Maggie asked me, "Mama, when did Dee ever have any friends?"

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Nov 18
El-Hassn S (Nov 18 2019 8:37PM) : Dee is not satisfied about her family house and their social postion
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Nov 19
El-Hossin S (Nov 19 2019 11:55AM) : Dee is discomifted of her social position
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Jun 11
Keily M (Jun 11 2021 9:40AM) : Comment more

Seems like mama describing the new house and Dee doesn’t like it at all, she wants to tear it up.

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Jun 11
Jessica H (Jun 11 2021 9:42AM) : Well, Dee didn't like much of anything part of living in the country.
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Jan 20
Issaka D (Jan 20 2020 7:08PM) : Dee's feelings about the new house more

No wonder she wants to tear it apart and refuse to bring her friends over because she picked her style doesn’t match with her house

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May 17
yeury n (May 17 2021 11:23AM) : What kind of house they live in
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May 18
Jessica H (May 18 2021 11:00AM) : This might be what the house looked like: https://images.app.goo.gl/uigrbGAXBDC3Xmhq8
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Nov 19
Celines Z (Nov 19 2019 2:54PM) : i think Dee try to hide her identity to the society.
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Nov 18
Emely L (Nov 18 2019 8:24PM) : Question more

why Dee do not have any friends ?

Do Dee feel ashamed of their parents or where they live ?

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Nov 18
Idelkys C (Nov 18 2019 8:36PM) : Good Questions! more

Honestly, I never thought about it, yet I think that she did not want anyone to know where she lived. It also looks like she was opting for a different social Class in the story because of the boyfriend that she was dating with.

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May 26
yeury n (May 26 2021 10:54AM) : I mean this was back then so if dee didn’t have friends it was probably because it was no one else around or because dee wasn’t really a friendly person

She had a few. Furtive boys in pink shirts hanging about on washday after school. Nervous girls who never laughed. Impressed with her they worshiped the well-turned phrase, the cute shape, the scalding humor that erupted like bubbles in lye. She read to them.

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Nov 19
El-Hossin S (Nov 19 2019 12:00PM) : According to Mama, Dee does not know how to choose "good frineds".
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When she was courting Jimmy T she didn't have much time to pay to us, but turned all her faultfinding power on him. He flew to marry a cheap city girl from a family of ignorant flashy people. She hardly had time to recompose herself.

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Nov 18
El-Hassn S (Nov 18 2019 8:56PM) : Dee failed to find her love because of her wrong behavior.
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Nov 19
El-Hossin S (Nov 19 2019 12:03PM) : This is an evidence that shows that Dee chose her signifcant other unwisely, which resulted in her getting divorced afterwards.
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When she comes I will meet—but there they are!

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Maggie attempts to make a dash for the house, in her shuffling way, but I stay her with my hand. "Come back here, " I say. And she stops and tries to dig a well in the sand with her toe.

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It is hard to see them clearly through the strong sun. But even the first glimpse of leg out of the car tells me it is Dee. Her feet were always neat-looking as if God himself had shaped them with a certain style. From the other side of the car comes a short, stocky man. Hair is all over his head a foot long and hanging from his chin like a kinky mule tail. I hear Maggie suck in her breath. "Uhnnnh," is what it sounds like. Like when you see the wriggling end of a snake just in front of your foot on the road. "Uhnnnh."

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Nov 18
El-Hassn S (Nov 18 2019 8:43PM) : Dee came to visted the family.
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Nov 19
Yeanoor C (Nov 19 2019 3:12PM) : Not by herself. She came with her Boyfriend Hakim
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Paul A

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(May 19 2021 11:03AM) : Right. It might be interesting to imagine and recreate a conversation between Dee and her boyfriend in the car on the way to her mother and sister. How would Dee prepare Hakim for this visit? more

What would she say about the place she was raised? Would she tell him about the fire and the house where her sister and mother live now? How much about her background would she share with him.

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Nov 19
El-Hossin S (Nov 19 2019 2:46PM) : Mama perceives Maggie as a bad-looking girl, whereas she perceives Dee as a near-perfect girl.
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Jun 11
Keily M (Jun 11 2021 9:45AM) : comment more

Loos like Dee came to visit with a guy.

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Jun 11
Jessica H (Jun 11 2021 9:47AM) : With a serious beard!
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Nov 19
Abigail Z (Nov 19 2019 12:26PM) : Maggie describe her sister arrival. Her sister look perfect to her.
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Jan 20
Issaka D (Jan 20 2020 7:13PM) : Dee and her boyfriend Asala more

Dee and her family came over and judging by the way they looked, her family had an instant of insertanty

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Dee next. A dress down to the ground, in this hot weather. A dress so loud it hurts my eyes. There are yellows and oranges enough to throw back the light of the sun. I feel my whole face warming from the heat waves it throws out. Earrings gold, too, and hanging down to her shoul.ders. Bracelets dangling and making noises when she moves her arm up to shake the folds of the dress out of her armpits. The dress is loose and flows, and as she walks closer, I like it. I hear Maggie go "Uhnnnh" again. It is her sister's hair. It stands straight up like the wool on a sheep. It is black as night and around the edges are two long pigtails that rope about like small lizards disappearing behind her ears.

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Nov 18
Yeanoor C (Nov 18 2019 7:49PM) : This paragraph emphazies imagery . it describing the dress and accessories Dee was wearing which was looking kind of odd for Mama
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Nov 18
El-Hassn S (Nov 18 2019 8:46PM) : Mama describes the luxury way Dee dress
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Nov 18
El-Hassn S (Nov 18 2019 8:57PM) : Dee like to show off and trying to connect with her roots, but, in fact, she ignores them.
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Nov 19
El-Hossin S (Nov 19 2019 2:53PM) : Dee wants to eradicate her past that she resented, and to pursue that, she dresses luxury clothes.
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Jan 20
Issaka D (Jan 20 2020 7:20PM) : Dee's boyfriend furtune more

Dee’s boyfriend had provide her the life style she pleased because he is loaded.

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Jun 11
Keily M (Jun 11 2021 9:49AM) : Mama describes a fancy dress
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Nov 18
Idelkys C (Nov 18 2019 8:28PM) : The author uses: [Edited] more

The author uses Metaphor and characterization to state how the mother delights herself describing her daughter, including the way she is and how attractive she looks. At the same time, it shows egotism because the way the mother explains her daughter is as if Maggie would not count in the same way as Dee or would not be considered such admired as Dee was.

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May 27
Dewry C (May 27 2021 10:47AM) : summary more

she wants to eradicate her past that she resented.

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May 27
Jessica H (May 27 2021 10:50AM) : Hm, I don't see the connection between these two ideas.
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"Wa-su-zo Tean-o!" she says, coming on in that gliding way the dress makes her move. The short stocky fellow with the hair to his navel is all grinning and he follows up with "Asalamalakim, my mother and sister!" He moves to hug Maggie but she falls back, right up against the back of my chair. I feel her trembling there and when I look up I see the perspiration falling off her chin.

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Nov 18
El-Hassn S (Nov 18 2019 8:58PM) : She attempts to connect herself to African culture and trying to immerse herself within it.
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Nov 19
El-Hossin S (Nov 19 2019 3:02PM) : Dee is Muslim
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May 19
Jessica H (May 19 2021 11:03AM) : Historical and cultural context more

This was the early 70s, when many Black Americans were beginning to reconnect to the idea of Africa and their connection to it. Many could not know exactly where in Africa their ancestors had come from, so they adapted spiritual practices, like Islam and animism, learned phrases from African languages and wore African clothing and traditional hairstyles. Dee came home from college with this mindset.

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(May 19 2021 11:05AM) : Right. So Dee is connecting to these African tradition while disconnecting from her family and local traditions.
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May 19
Tristan M (May 19 2021 11:06AM) : this shows the independence of african coutries which is shown through this man using muslim language
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May 24
yeury n (May 24 2021 11:29AM) : Was she surprised or something?
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May 25
Jessica H (May 25 2021 9:19AM) : Very surprised. She had never seen anyone who looked like that before.

"Don't get up," says Dee. Since I am stout it takes something of a push. You can see me trying to move a second or two before I make it. She turns, showing white heels through her sandals, and goes back to the car. 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. She never takes a shot without mak' ing sure the house is included. When a cow comes nibbling around the edge of the yard she snaps it and me and Maggie and the house. Then she puts the Polaroid in the back seat of the car, and comes up and kisses me on the forehead.

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Nov 18
El-Hassn S (Nov 18 2019 8:59PM) : She trying to decoument her roots to add credibility to her sucsses as a girl came from nothing and reinforce her roots.
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Nov 19
El-Hossin S (Nov 19 2019 3:05PM) : She is documenting the poverty-stricken life that her sister and her mother live in order to proof that she is better than them.
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May 27
Dawry C (May 27 2021 10:14AM) : summary more

so what she is trying to proof is that she is better than her sister Maggie and her Mother because I think that’s what a seens like.

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May 27
Jessica H (May 27 2021 10:17AM) : Yes, that seems to be what she is doing. If not better, than at least different. She wants to set herself apart from them somehow.
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Meanwhile Asalamalakim is going through motions with Maggie's hand. Maggie's hand is as limp as a fish, and probably as cold, despite the sweat, and she keeps trying to pull it back. It looks like Asalamalakim wants to shake hands but wants to do it fancy. Or maybe he don't know how people shake hands. Anyhow, he soon gives up on Maggie.

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Nov 18
El-Hassn S (Nov 18 2019 9:00PM) : Dee is trying to be "African" by her weird handshake.
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May 27
Dawry C (May 27 2021 10:17AM) : summary/question more

why dee trying to be African but has a weird handshake

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May 27
Jessica H (May 27 2021 10:19AM) : Dee is not doing the handshake; her boyfriend/husband/whateverheis is trying to do a complicated handshake with Maggie.
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May 24
yeury n (May 24 2021 11:31AM) : I still don’t get it who is or what is aslamalakim?
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May 25
Jessica H (May 25 2021 9:22AM) : "Asalaamaleikum" means "Peace be upon you" in the Arabic language. more

It is a very common greeting in Arabic-speaking countries, and among Muslims in any country. It became more common to hear in in the USA at this time because of the influence of the Nation of Islam and Malcolm X as an African American leader.

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Nov 19
Fatoumata D (Nov 19 2019 10:46AM) : with his greeting I can infer he's a Muslim that's why he did not want to shake her hand.
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"Well," I say. "Dee."

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"No, Mama," she says. "Not 'Dee,' Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo!"

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El-Hassn S (Nov 18 2019 9:00PM) : Changing her name, trying to be more African.
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May 27
Dewry C (May 27 2021 10:55AM) : summary more

her name in order to out the bad memories.

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May 27
Jessica H (May 27 2021 11:00AM) : Yes, in theory. more

A lot of Black people changed their names to African names they had chosen, since their enslaved ancestors almost definitely didn’t get to choose their names. However, Dee’s Mother knows all the names of her ancestors back through the Civil War, which is not something everyone can say. Dee’s name actually does have history behind it.

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"What happened to 'Dee'?" I wanted to know.

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"She's dead," Wangero said. "I couldn't bear it any longer, being named after the people who oppress me."

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Nov 19
Hanna S (Nov 19 2019 9:13AM) : Dee reinvented herself as wangero because her name was given to her by white oppressors and she wanted to bury the past she despises
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Nov 19
El-Hossin S (Nov 19 2019 3:13PM) : Dee hated her past that she changed her name in order to wipe out the bad memories.
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"You know as well as me you was named after your aunt Dicie," I said. Dicie is my sister. She named Dee. We called her "Big Dee" after Dee was born.

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Nov 19
Fatoumata D (Nov 19 2019 10:52AM) : She have an adoptive name and change her name.
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Nov 18
Yeanoor C (Nov 18 2019 7:53PM) : Dee get her name from her aunts Dicie
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"But who was she named after?" asked Wangero.

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"I guess after Grandma Dee," I said.