'Symbolism In Everyday Use' By Alice Walker

756 Words 4 Pages
“Everyday Use: What Was the Symbolism?”

Author Alice Walker uses heirlooms to shape a deeper meaning with symbolism in the story, “Everyday Use”. I can personally relate to how these items reflect upon one’s heritage. My parents have heirlooms, which I have been taught the importance of each item. One in particular was a desk my great- great grandfather and his sons built. He used trees from his land to create this exquisite piece of furniture. As I read this particular short story, it had me in deep thought about my heritage and the things I have in my home now. I feel this short story even taught me what is more important and to appreciate what I do have even more. “Everyday Use” concentrates on the connection among women of different
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The hard work that was put into making the quilts in the story and where each piece came from implies a lot. The character in the story named Dee just cannot comprehend the bequest of things pasted down from each generation not even her name. Therefore, it is hard for Dee to understand the importance of the quilt in the same way as Maggie and her mama. Also, not to mention each piece of material it took to fabricate this unique item. The material came from pieces of her grandmother’s dresses, her grandfather Jarrell’s paisley shirts, and her great grandfather’s uniform from the Civil War. Dee said, “These are all pieces of dresses Grandma used to wear. She did all this stitching by hand” (par.61). Dee says she wants these quilts because her mother and grandmother stitched them by hand and not on the machine. The quilts are the primary symbolism in this short story. Dee seems to appreciate the quilts in a different way compared to Maggie and her mama. She wanted to display them. Each individual had a distinctive view on the quilts. Alice Walker used the quilts to signify the family’s ethnicity. These quilts …show more content…
Even though both girls are justifiable and worthy of the quilts, the characters have complete and separate ways of how they would use them. Dee wants to hang them on her wall because she respects them in a different manner than Maggie. “She ‘d probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use” (par. 66), said Dee. At this point I did respect how she wanted to keep the quilts looking the same. However, mama had previously promised the quilt to Maggie when she got married. So therefore, Maggie could use the quilt however she saw

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