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Symbolism References In Everyday Use Essay

1286 words - 6 pages

Symbolism the use of symbols to ideas and qualities by giving them symbolic meanings that

are different meaning. For example, there are different varieties of flowers like the roses stand

for romance, violets represent shyness, lilies for beauty and temptation, and chrysanthemums

represent perfection. Symbols are also used in colors to symbolize on what they represent. For

instance, black is used to represent death or evil, white stands for life and purity, red can

symbolize passion, purple is a royal color, yellow stands for violence or decay, and blue

represents peacefulness and calm. Objects can rarely be used as symbols as well. A chain

can symbolize the coming together of two things. A mirror can denote the sun but when it is

broken, it can represent an unhappy union or a separation.


In the novel, Everyday Used, Dee came to visit her family Mama Johnson and Maggie. Dee

came with a male friend name Hakim – A – Barber. Dee took the butter churn and the dasher to

be displayed for art, but then also wanted the quilt that was made by grandma Dee. Mama

Johnson refused to give the quilt to Dee, because Dee doesn’t understand her heritage.

Instead, Mama Johnson gave it to Maggie; Mama Johnson had seen her sister and mother in

Maggie. Maggie understood the value of the butter churn, the dasher, and the quilt her heritage

was important to Mama Johnson that was passed down from generation to generation. Dee

change over time when she was away at college. Dee’s heritage wasn’t the same as it was

before, Dee has seen a new era. Hakim – A – Barber a friend of Dee has also change the way

of his heritage. Hakim – A – Barber became a Jew, which means he cannot eat anything made

of meat. In fact, Hakim – A – Barber became a vegetarian and eat nothing but fruits and

vegetable. Maggie understands that the butter churn, the dasher , and the quilt were symbols of

their heritage that has been pass down to generation. The quilt was made by grandma Dee

who pass the quilt to her daughter Mama Johnson, and gave the quilt to Maggie her younger

daughter.

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Symbols in “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker used to make idea’s bigger throughout the story.

Another example of symbol would be Maggie’s burned skin and scars. The burned skin and

scars represents how Maggie been burned by the events of her life. Maggie’s house burned

down on Maggie, she tries so hard to hide the burn marks and scars, so nobody could notice it.

Maggie is a true representation of heritage, Maggie the younger daughter, was an example that

Heritage passes from one generation to another through a learning and experience. Maggie

knows that the quilt represents the heritage of her mother has been pass down to generation.

Maggie will remember her grandmother with her memories from the quilts and doesn’t need the

quilt anymore.

Additionally, Dee the older sister wants the quilt, dasher, and butter...

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