Symbolic References in Everyday Use by Alice Walker Essay

Symbolic References in Everyday Use by Alice Walker Essay

Length: 1838 words (5.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Symbolism is the taking of an object big or small, and giving it something to stand for. It could be your everyday math symbols for addition, subtraction, division, and etc. Although math symbols are perfect examples of symbolism, there’s also objects that can be more than what they are. For example animals, Lions are known to be symbolized as strength, aggression, and assertiveness. Birds like doves are symbolized as love and peace. Colors are also held symbolically, for instance the color black resembling death, and depression. As for reds and pinks symbolizing love, valentine’s day being a perfect example of those two colors showing up all over the place.

In the short story “Everyday Use”, symbolism is used in objects that tend to represent more than what they are. In “Everyday Use”, the narrating character mama Johnson and her youngest daughter Maggie, struggle to find peace with her eldest daughter Dee. Dee never wanted to accept her way of living so left after high school. One day Dee came back as a total different person changing her name and way of appearance. She asked for the objects that Mama Johnson and Maggie put to everyday use so she can pin it up as art, and being that she was spoiled she got what she wanted. When Dee was denied the quilts by Momma Johnson, she went off on her words on how Maggie couldn’t appreciate the quilts. Maggie overhearing the conversation from the kitchen, interrupted with stating that she could remember Grandma Dee without the Quilts, and that’s when Mama Johnson put her foot down. She grabbed the quilts out of Dee’s hands and placed them into Maggie’s. Dee left saying that Mama Johnson and Maggie didn’t appreciate their heritage. When in reality Dee doesn’t truly understand her heritage...

... middle of paper ...


Eshbauhg, Ruth. “A Literary Analysis of Alice Walker’s Short Story ‘Everyday Use’.” Yahoo! Voices. Yahoo, inc., 21 Aug 2008.web.17 Mar 2014

Foleylan.”Conflict, Irony, and Symbolism in Alice Walker’s ‘Everyday Use’.” StudyMode. N.P., June 2012.web.17 Mar 2014.

Moore, Julie.”Heritage and Symbolism in Alice Walker’s ‘Everyday Use’.” Yahoo! Voice. Yahoo, inc., 29 May 2007. Web.17 Mar 2014.

SparkNotes, ed.”Theme, Motifs and Symbols.” Sparknotes. Sparknotes LLC, N.d.web. 17 Mar 2014

Walker, Alice. “Everyday Use”. Heritage of American Literature: Civil War to the Present. Ed. James E. Miller Austin: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1991; 714.

White, David. “’Everyday Use’: Defining African American Heritage.” Luminarium. Annina Jokinen, 19 Sep 2002. Web. 17 Mar 2014

Wirework, ed. “Symbolism in ‘Everyday Use’ by Alice Walker.” WriteWork. N.P., May 2006.web.17 Mar 2014.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Symbolic References in Everyday Use by Alice Walker Essay

- Symbolism is what a person represents. Symbolism can be an object, person, situation, events or actions that have a deeper meaning in context. The dove is a symbol of peace. A red rose or red color stands for love or romance. Black is a symbol that represents evil or death. A ladder may stand as a symbol for a connection between the heaven and the earth. A broken mirror may symbolize separation. Symbolism is a meaning of heritage from the past ancestors like quilts, butter churns, front yards, and knowing how to make quilts from old dresses can represent symbolism....   [tags: semiotic analysis, short stories]

Term Papers
1205 words (3.4 pages)

Symbolic References in the Short Story Every Day USe by In Alice Walker

- Symbolism is a technique used by many author’s; Alice Walker was one who used the Techniques on many objects. Symbolism is an object used to represent something greater than what it is. “The quilts represented important people”, but the character “Dee” doesn’t realize it. Instead wanted the quilts to use as a piece of art. Heritage is meant to be passed from generation to generation but Dee (Wangero Leewanika kemango ), who is daughter of Mama Johnson, didn’t understand the true Meaning of heritage....   [tags: the quilts, scare, slavery]

Term Papers
1688 words (4.8 pages)

Essay on Symbolism References in Everyday Use

- Symbolism the use of symbols to ideas and qualities by giving them symbolic meanings that are different meaning. For example, there are different varieties of flowers like the roses stand for romance, violets represent shyness, lilies for beauty and temptation, and chrysanthemums represent perfection. Symbols are also used in colors to symbolize on what they represent. For instance, black is used to represent death or evil, white stands for life and purity, red can symbolize passion, purple is a royal color, yellow stands for violence or decay, and blue represents peacefulness and calm....   [tags: semiotics, sociological analysis]

Term Papers
978 words (2.8 pages)

Symbolic Analysis of Alice Walker's Everyday Use Essay

- Symbolic Analysis of Alice Walker's Everyday Use Alice Walker?s ?Everyday Uses (For Your Grandmother). is a story about a woman?s struggle with the past and her inability and unwillingness to accept the future. The three main characters in the story are Dee, her younger sister Maggie, and their mother. The story is narrated by the mother in an almost reminiscent manner, and it is on her that the focus of the story centers. Her eldest daughter, Dee, is the first in her family to embrace modernization and to attempt to improve her way of life....   [tags: Alice Walker Everyday Use Essays]

Term Papers
1688 words (4.8 pages)

Heritage in Everyday Use, by Alice Walker Essay

- Heritage is one of the most important factors that represents where a person came from. In “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, this short story characterizes not only the symbolism of heritage, but also separates the difference between what heritage really means and what it may be portrayed as. Throughout the story, it reveals an African-American family living in small home and struggling financially. Dee is a well-educated woman who struggles to understand her family's heritage because she is embarrassed of her mother and sister, Mama and Maggie....   [tags: everyday use, alice walker]

Term Papers
1063 words (3 pages)

Symbolism in Alice Walker's Everyday Use Essay

- Symbolism in Alice Walker's Everyday Use History in the Making Heritage is something that comes to or belongs to one by reason of birth. This may be the way it is defined in the dictionary, but everyone has their own beliefs and ideas of what shapes their heritage. In the story “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, these different views are very evident by the way Dee (Wangero) and Mrs. Johnson (Mama) see the world and the discrepancy of who will inherit the family’s quilts. Symbolism such as certain objects, their front yard, and the different characters, are all used to represent the main theme that heritage is something to always be proud of....   [tags: Alice Walker Everyday Use]

Term Papers
1557 words (4.4 pages)

Essay on The Themes and Narration Techniques of Everyday Use by Alice Walker

- The Themes and Narration Techniques of "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker "Everyday Use," by Alice Walker, was first published in 1973. The story opens as Maggie and her mother, a black farm woman, await a visit from Maggie's older sister, Dee, and a man who may be her husband--her mother is not sure whether they are actually married. Dee, who was always scornful of her family's way of life, has gone to college and now seems almost as distant as a film star. 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....   [tags: Alice Walker's Everyday Use]

Term Papers
962 words (2.7 pages)

Essay Everyday Use by Alice Walker

- Everyday Use by Alice Walker Through contrasting family members and views in "Everyday Use", Alice Walker illustrates the importance of understanding our present life in relation to the traditions of our own people and culture. Using careful descriptions and attitudes, Walker demonstrates which factors contribute to the values of one's heritage and culture; she illustrates that these are represented not by the possession of objects or mere appearances, but by one's lifestyle and attitude. Throughout the story, Walker personifies the different sides of culture and heritage in the characters of Dee and the mother (the narrator)....   [tags: Alice Walker Everyday Use]

Term Papers
964 words (2.8 pages)

Everyday Use by Alice Walker Essay

- In "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker, Walker shows differences in human character, just by the way they act towards family members. The main character in the story, Mother, has two daughters that she treats very differently, and they treat her differently. One daughter looks down on Mother in a condescending manner, and the other is obedient and kind. In "Everyday Use", Walker shows that in relationships between a mother and daughters, adaptation to change can sometimes be very hard, which leads to pride and protecting what one has accomplished, and finally shows how un-appreciation can hinder these relationships....   [tags: Alice Walker Everyday Use]

Term Papers
952 words (2.7 pages)

Alice Walker's Everyday Use Essay

- In every family there seems to be a child that is bestowed with all of the positive aspects of her parents. Unfortunately, for every perfect child there is, it seems that there is one child that is less talented and less beautiful. In the short story, "Everyday Use", these two character descriptions fit perfectly in relation to the characters of Dee and Maggie. Dee is the gifted and beautiful child, whereas Maggie seems to have been left behind by the gene pool and luck. In her short story, "Everyday Use", Alice Walker utilizes language, the tragedy of the fire burning down Maggie's family's house, and her portrayal of Dee to pain an extremely sympathetic portrait of Maggie....   [tags: Everyday Use Alice Walker]

Term Papers
1207 words (3.4 pages)