Symbolism in Alice Walker's Everyday Use

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There are many examples of symbolism in Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use.” Whether it’s representing Mama Johnson, Dee or Maggie. Even everyday household objects. Symbolism is used to express or represent ideas or qualities in english, art, mathematics, science,etc. In many ways symbolism can be used to represent an idea that means more than the literal meaning.

In “Everyday Use” Mama Johnson and Maggie are awaiting for Dee’s arrival after several years of not being able to see her. Dee had left for college a while back and had wrote a letter saying she was coming to visit.

In the story the characters are described in their own certain way. Mama Johnson is a very hard working woman that has done everything that a man can could do. Dee is a very educated optimistic woman who has never liked living in the poor way her mother and her sister Maggie use to live. She is very stuck up and very presuming. She likes to make her mother and sister feel like their worthless compared to her. Maggie on the other hand is a very shy timid girl who has always lived with Mama Johnson, and is not used to having her mother stand up for her.

The conflict started when Dee was asking for house hold items that belonged to Mama Johnson, but there was one in particular that Dee wanted. Dee had her eye on the hand stitched quilts that had huge history behind them. When she asked mama if she could have the quilts mama said no because she

had promised Maggie she could have them when she got married. Dee hesitated in giving the quilts to Maggie so mama snatched them from her hand and placed them in Maggies arms.

Symbolism is used in various ways in Walkers “Everyday Use”. For example, the character Mama Johnson is describe...

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...g in “Everyday Use”. When it comes to inheritance it doesn't matter what object you have or any kind of art; all that matters is that we know and recognize from where we came from and teach that your inheritance doesn't come from any object but from the heart.

Works Cited

Bmad,Nick.”Symbolism In Walkers ‘Everyday Use’ “ Enotes N.p.,4 July 2007. Web 17 mar 2014.

Eshbaugh, Ruth.” A Literary Analysis of Alice Walker’s Short Story ‘Everyday Use’.” Yahoo! Voices. Yahoo.Inc., 21 Aug 2008.Web. 17 Mar 2014.

SparkNotes Editors.”Themes,Motifs, and Symbols.” SparkNotes. SparkNotes LLC, N.d., Web 17 Mar 2014.

Researchomatic Editors. “Themes and Symbols of Alice Walker’s ‘Everyday Use’.” Researchomatic.N.p., May 2011.Web. 17 Mar 2014.

Velasquez, Juan R. “Characterization and Symbolism in Alice Walker’s ‘Everyday Use’.” Lonestar. N.p.,n.d.Web. 17 Mar 2014.
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