If she really wanted to live her heritage she would accept everything that is apart of it. In this short story Dee, the eldest daughter, was always ashamed by the way she lived during her childhood years. More so, they attempt to be popular and look for wealth in the capitalist world, which entails assertiveness and opportunism.
The main characters in this story, "Mama" and Maggie on one side, Dee on the other, each have opposing views on the value and worth of the various items in their lives, and the author uses this conflict to make the point that the substance of an object, and of people, is more important than style Its narrator, Mama, reflects on her daughters and the circumstances of their upbringing while awaiting Dee's return.
Mama believes that family ties are indelible, even despite Dee's dismissal of her childhood and direct ancestry. Johnson does not understand her own heritage. Maggie, who is not bright and who bears severe burn scars from a house fire many years before, is even more intimidated by her glamorous sibling These items are an extension of her real heritage; having evolved with the family rather than become quaint reminders of a life Dee put behind her when she left for school.
After sometime, Dee started to trouble her mother with various questions pertaining to the household furnishings, their value, as well as their age. Therefore, their embedded contextual meaning would be lost. Dee, in other words, has moved towards other traditions that go against the traditions and heritage of her own family: she is on a quest to link herself to her African roots and has changed her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo.
That is why she even changed her name, which was not the case when she was growing up.