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Essay The Usability of Symbolism in Everyday Use by Alice Walker

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Symbolism is a technique that author’s uses to bring out the main importance of an object, but more emphasized details are being extracted in the usage of it. Alice Walker uses quilts, for example, to symbolize a “bond between women” (Spark Notes) a relationship between women, that would get passed down from generation to generation.
In this story, symbolism plays a big role that makes this more attracted to the reader’s eyes. The characters such as the following: Mama Johnson, Dee, and Maggie all symbolize a manifold of different things that happened and/or took place back in the 1950s and 1960s. The characters and the quilt are combined together even if you as a reader can’t see that. The patches intertwined with the characters and it all fits in like a puzzle and it brings its own role in the quilt. The quilt will be generated into sections that each character has a patch and it has its own history.
For a better understanding, a brief summary will be provided for you and it will be in chronological order. The summary consists of a mother who had two daughters; one was burned, but only scarred, during a house fire back in the days of the Civil Rights Movement and the other always got the spa treatment, from a great education to always getting what her eyes and needs desire. Dee, the sophisticated one, decided to visit her mother and sister after a while of being off at college; she came back not wanting to spend time with them but only to take a couple of everyday use items back with her as “art work,” as she reference them to be. Little did Dee know that every single thing she wanted to own as art work was passed down from Mama Johnson’s generation to Maggie’s and her

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... in essence to opening and understanding the symbolism.



Works Cited

Eshbaugh, Ruth. “A Literary Analysis of Alice Walker’s Short Story ‘Everyday
Use’.” YAHOO! VOICES. YAHOO, Inc., 21 Aug 2008. Web. 17 Mar 2014.

Researchomatic Editors. “Themes and Symbols of Alice Walker’s ‘Everyday Use’.” Researchomatic. N. p., May 2011. Web. 17 Mar 2014.

Velazquez, Juan R. “Characterization and Symbolism in Alice Walker’s ‘Everyday
Use’.” Lonestar. N. p., n. d. Web. 17 Mar 2014.

Walker, Alice. “Everyday Use.” Heritage of American Literature. Ed. James E. Miller. Vol. 2. Austin: Harcourt Brace Jovanivich, 1991. 714. Print.

White, David. “ ‘Everdyday Use’ : Defining African-American Heritage.”
Luminarium. Anniina Jokinen, 19 Sep 2002. Web. 17 Mar 2014.

Write Work Editors. “ Symbolism in ‘Everyday Use’ by Alice Walker.” WriteWork.
N.p., May 2006. Web. 17 Mar 2014.



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