Symbolic References In Everyday Use By Alice Walker

1639 words - 7 pages

Symbolism is what a person represents. Symbolism can be an object, person, situation, events or actions that have a deeper meaning in context. The dove is a symbol of peace. A red rose or red color stands for love or romance. Black is a symbol that represents evil or death. A ladder may stand as a symbol for a connection between the heaven and the earth. A broken mirror may symbolize separation. Symbolism is a meaning of heritage from the past ancestors like quilts, butter churns, front yards, and knowing how to make quilts from old dresses can represent symbolism. For example quilts can represent what the family from the past have done and what their experienced on. In this short story ‘Everyday Use’ all the objects represent symbolism.
This short story ‘Everyday Use’ by Alice Walker has a strong representation of heritage and symbolism. It shows how objects have been passed from their ancestors which indicate symbolism. In ‘Everyday Use’ there are three amazing woman Dee (Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo), Mama Johnson, and Maggie. But Dee is way different she is totally a misrepresentation of heritage and is a beautiful young woman. Maggie and Mama Johnson have a strong representation on their heritage and still live the way they were raced. Dee comes and visits Mama and Maggie she takes some valuable things that Mama Johnson had kept. But when it gets to the point where she wants to take some quilts that Big Dee and Mama had done she starts arguing with her mother and

her mother tells her no Maggie stayed somewhat in shock because ‘no’ was not a word Dee was used to hearing.
Dee is the oldest daughter of Mama Johnson. Eventough she is pretty and has the nice hair and everything she is totally a misrepresentation of her heritage. As Researchomatic says “Dee built a new name for herself, ‘Wangero’ and she failed to look over the legacy of her family which was attached with her name and was of the belief that the name she has chosen is representing her African heritage properly.” Dee changed her way of living even her name “Wangero Leewanika Kemango.” (718) She represented the new fad of times for example the sunglasses and the jewelry. Esbaugh points out that “Like the sunglasses she puts on before she leaves style is the color of glass Dee sees life trough.” Meaning that “Dee put on some sunglasses” to show her family that she is someone else and she will never look back to the past. (722) According to Eshbaugh “Dee makes the strange hair an tinkling jewelry complete her look.” She is different and wears jewelry “earrings, gold, and hanging down to her shoulders” she decided to make a different life and not to be the same as her sister and her mother. (717)
Mama Johnson is a true representation of heritage. As White said “However, her lack of education and refinement does not prevent her from having an inheret understanding of heritage based on her love and respect for those who came before her.” Which means that Mama Johnson remembers...

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