Themes And Symbolism Used In Everyday Use By Alice Walker

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There is multiple literary techniques and devices writers’ use, many to help the reader understand their message or what they’re is portraying. One literary device that writers use to help readers comprehend their work is symbolism, and symbolism is to take an object, color, or action and replace its literal meaning. An object can mean many things in a story. In this short story Everyday Use there are three objects the yard, the quilts, and the turner. The quilts are a meaning of bond between the women of generations. The quilts have pieces of fabric that had meaning to the previous Johnson women. The story is told in first person by "Mama", a single African American woman living in the Deep South with one of her two daughters, the …show more content…
The character Mama Johnson is a symbol of “tough life style living” on the land where they live. Mama had a tough life growing up, because of the color of her skin. In the article “How Symbolism is used in Everyday Use” the author describes what each of the characters symbolize. (1) Mrs. Johnson wears clothing that is particular for the kind of life she lives. Her overalls and flannels nightgowns depict her no nonsense, harsh life that she leads on a daily basis. Mama Johnson’s clothing symbolizes her lifestyle. She doesn’t wear fancy clothes or styles her hair she wears what she’s been used to since she was a young girl. In another article: “Characterization and Symbolism in Alice Walker’s Everyday Use” it informs us how Maggie is seen through the author’s eyes. Mrs. Johnson’s daughter Maggie is described as rather unattractive and shy: the scars she bears on her body have likewise scarred her soul and as a result, she is retiring, even frightened. (1) In “How symbolism is used in Everyday Use” (1) Maggie has given up on her life, she feels …show more content…
She believes she doesn’t deserve love or anything good for herself. Maggie has gone through a lot in her life from her getting trapped in the fire that burned her first house to her older sister abandoning her and her mother. On Spark notes 3 it says how Maggie has no ambition because she has already lost everything due to the fire. “Maggie’s dress that “falls off her in little black papery flakes” the hurt she suffered and her vulnerability” “Maggie’s burned skin represents how she’s been “burned” by the events of her life.” The scares that the fire left on Maggie made her embarrassed of the way she looked but even though she did not like the way she looked she still is very kind to others and has a big heart. “She’s fragile and worn down from the hard life she’s lived.” Even though Maggie feels insecure about her looks what she does feel good about is what she knows about her family history. Maggie is not ashamed of where she comes from she embraces her lifestyle. “In Maggie’s scarred hands she sees a heritage she should be proud of not ashamed of.” Maggie knows everything about her heritage from the family tree. “Despite all the negative observation mama makes about her, Maggie is very aware of her heritage.” In the short story Everyday Use, when Dee arrives at Mama Johnson’s house she is dressed unusual to mama and Maggie, who are dressed in their everyday normal clothing while Dee looks like she should be somewhere else. “A dress down to

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