Everyday Use By Alice Walker Essay examples

1173 Words Oct 4th, 2016 5 Pages
The theme that Alice Walker suggests in “Everyday Use” is that each individual has their different family views on what they believe to be heritage. Heritage is the family traditions and objects like quilts that are passed down from generation to generation. But to others heritage can be pieces of artwork that are meant to be preserved and not meant to be objects of everyday use. Some literary elements that help illuminate this theme are a symbol, irony, and character.
The symbol that makes an appearance in this short story are the quilts. In the story of “Everyday Use” there are three characters, the mother who narrators the story and her two daughters Dee and Maggie. The mother made a promise to her daughter Maggie, the day she gets marry she will give her the quilts. The quilts represent the family’s heritage that she will pass down to her daughter Maggie. The narrator says:
In both of them were scraps of dresses Grandma Dee had worn fifty and more years ago. Bits and pieces of Grandpa Jarrell’s paisley shirt. And one teeny faded blue piece, about the size of a penny matchbox, that was from Great Grandpa Ezra’s uniform that he wore in the Civil War. (328)
The quilts are pieces of history from the narrator’s family. Pieces of fabric that represent different generations of the family and a piece of fabric that had a trail of the Civil War. The quilts are very valuable to the narrator because she inheritance the quilts from…

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