Symbolism And Symbolism In Everyday Use By Alice Walker

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Symbolism is important because it is used in writing to give meaning to the piece of literature beyond of what is actually being described and gives the story more depth. Symbolism is when an object or character symbolizes something much more powerful than what we can see. Symbols are visible they stand for something that is not visible; this carries different meanings depending on one’s cultural background. For example; a lion can symbolize courage, the lion is what we can see while courage is what we cannot see, yet it is not only the lion that is there, but the lion also stands for courage. In the short story of “Everyday Use” the mother-daughter relationship is stressed and interprets the African-American Woman’s individuality in terms …show more content…
She wanted to reconnect with her African heritage so badly that she even changed her name from Dee to “Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo”. Dee was angered by what she saw as a history of oppression in her family, she composed a contemporary heritage on her own and refused her true heritage. She declines to understand the family tradition of her name and gives herself a new name, Wangero, which Dee considers more meticulously to represent the African heritage. A number of characters and objects signify much larger ideas in “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker. The character of Mama Johnson is a symbol herself. Mama symbolizes man working hands, “In real life I am a large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands… I can kill and clean a hog as mercilessly as a man” (Walker 715). This shows that Mama Johnson is a very tough woman and that she can get anything done on her own, she does not need a man to do things for her. “… Mrs. Johnson’s language points to a certain relationship between herself and her physical surroundings… Mrs. Johnson is fundamentally at home with herself; she accepts who she is” (Lone Star College 1). Even though Mama is not very well educated, she feels like she knows everything she needs to know to live her life

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