Compare and Contrast Maggie and Wanergo of Everday Use
The comparison of characters is something an author allows us to do while reading a story, by telling us about the character’s looks, their personality, their lifestyle, and any other traits that may describe someone. In the story Everyday Use, written by Alice Walker, there are two characters, which I have chosen to do a compare and contrast essay on. The names of the characters I have chose to write about, are Maggie and Wanergo; both characters are females and are sisters. The story is told from the mother’s (Mama’s) point of view. Through out the story Mama describes both of the girls and tells how different they are, even though they are sisters.
The girls both grew up together along with their mother. The mother describes herself to be “a large big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands”(pg.66). The first contrast I made between the girls was their difference in looks. Maggie is jealous of Wanergo’s beauty and it seems as if Maggie is ashamed of the way she looks. In the story, Mama and Maggie are waiting at home for a visit from Wanergo, Mama explains Maggie as being nervous while her sister is around. Mama then goes on to say that, “she will stand hopelessly in corners, homely and ashamed of the burn scars down her arms and legs, eyeing her sister with a mixture of envy and awe”(pg.65). Mama then compares Wanergo’s beauty to Maggie’s looks, she says, “Dee (Wanergo) is lighter than Maggie, with nicer hair and a fuller figure”(pg.66). The difference in the way Maggie and Wanergo look, plays a large role in what makes them so different from each other.
Maggie and Wanergo had completely different personalities from each other. Throughout the story Mama made it seem as if Wanergo had an outgoing personality and that she always got what she wanted. Mama even says that Maggie “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”(pg.65). Mama made Maggie out to have a very shy personality, due to how ashamed she was of the way her burn scars made her look. Wanergo wanted to go to a good school in Augusta so her mother, along with the church, raised the money to send her there. Mama also says that, “Dee (Wanergo) wanted nice things. A yellow and organdy dress to wear to her graduation from high school”(pg.66). Wanergo believed strongly in education as well, she always used to read to Mama and Maggie. Mama and Maggie did not care too much for Wanergo’s reading, Mama say’s that “she washed us in a river of make-believe, burned with a lot of knowledge we didn’t necessarily need to know”(pg.66).
Later in the story Wanergo moved away to the city and completely changed her life from what it used to be like back at home with Maggie. Before Wanergo moved away from home, her original name was Dee. When Mama asked why she changed her name, Wanergo replied, “ I couldn’t bear it any longer, being named after the same people who oppress me”(pg.68). Wanergo had changed everything about her self when she moved, from her name, to her hair, the way she dressed, even the way she thought had changed. Maggie was still living her life with Mama back at home, which made their lifestyles entirely different from each other.
The story seemed to only tell how different Maggie and Wanergo were from each other. Mama never made any comparison between the two girls to suggest that they had anything in common with each other. Maggie and Wanergo were completely different in all aspects of their lives. In the end of the story, Mama seemed not to like what Wanergo had become and was closer to Maggie at that point.
Article name: Compare and Contrast Maggie and Wanergo of Everday Use essay, research paper, dissertation