Characters And Symbolism In Everyday Use By Alice Walker

838 Words 4 Pages
Have you ever wondered how some people just catch the eye of the crowd? Like the clouds or the snowflakes in the sky, never are there two alike. The same goes for people, they are all so uniquely different. "Everyday Use" by Alice Walker shows a fine illustration of an interesting and notable character named Maggie. She is a girl who has been scarred all through her life because of many difficulties. In this story Maggie 's life which has always been in the shadows is finally emerging out through the use of symbols as it shows that despite her weaknesses and tragedies, Maggie does have very important inner values when it comes to her family history

Victims of devastating fires not only lose their precious possessions but they are also struck
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Scars symbolize strength and a person 's ability to move on after a misfortunate situation. They also act as a reminder of what happened in the past. As a result of this, Maggie feels insecure about herself and is barely recognized or seen by anyone. Still and withdrawn, she 's hardly a presence even when she does manage to mumble a few sentences. She has been like this ever since the fire had burnt the house down. According to the Dictionary of Symbols, the symbol of 'fire ' in the story means purification and regeneration, as it means the old growth that is burned away makes way for the new growth to begin. It is also the key element in Maggie 's life. Maggie is described as rather unattractive and shy. Her mother compares her to a 'lame animal ' which stands for the lowest instinctive levels of the subconscious and someone who is damaged. Suffering from burns has caused her to walk like a run over 'dog ' which means there is no civilization in her steps. She has a disfigured look as her mother describes her as 'chin on chest ', 'eyes on ground ' and 'feet in shuffle '. This shows Maggie 's self-confidence as well shows why she 's afraid to make …show more content…
One good thing in her life is that she 's going to be married to someone and even if he 's not the greatest person, she found love which is something her sister doesn 't have. Family heritage will most likely pass down through Maggie. And Even though she hasn’t been able to go to school, she was able to learn many things at home through her mother. The main thing is that she has learnt how to quilt. Quilting is a useful and practical skill, and her ability to quilt is something she shares with strongly with her ancestors. 'Quilts ' symbolize heritage and represents bonds between people. Likewise it is stated that Grandma Dee and Aunt Dee taught Maggie how to quilt. Maggie 's experience learning to quilt strengthen her bond between them, a bond conveyed in Maggie 's remarks of remembering "Grandma Dee without them". She honors the memory of her ancestors as she knows the stories behind the pieces of clothe in the quilt. Maggie 's mother values her daughter 's emotional connection to the quilt. Hence why she quickly transfers the quilt from Dee to Maggie 's arms. Maggie is stunned because she never gets the acknowledgment but now she finally has it. Her mother knows that Maggie understands the sentimental value of it and that she will use the quilt rather than display it as an artwork. And even if it falls apart, Maggie knows how to quilt and

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