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The Usability Of Symbolism In Everyday Use By Alice Walker

1621 words - 6 pages

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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generation as a representation of their true heritage; Dee misrepresented her heritage from the attire she wore to the fact that she switched her name from Dee to Wangero
Leewanika Kemanjo. She brought false hopes of heritage and misinterprets the whole process of being African American.
Authors tend to always use symbolism and try to mix it in the writing, so you can go on a scavenger hunt and find them yourself. That scavenger hunt was made by Alice Walker and she threw it on the characters in many different ways that are blinded by people. One of the hidden symbols is found in Mama Johnson, a very caring, intelligent, courageous, and independent woman. She in general is true and complete representation of African-American culture/heritage; she is the exact image for every person out there who’s been through possibly every horrible entity and is still smiling.
“Mrs. Johnson wears clothing that is practical for the kind of life she lives. Her overalls and flannel nightgowns depict her no-nonsense, harsh life that she leads on a daily basis.” (Symbolism in Walker’s “Everyday Use”). Mama dressed as to symbolize a hard working woman with a tough/difficult background, “her man-working hands clearly meant to indicate a rough life, with great exposure to...

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