Symbolism in Everyday Use

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 511
  • Published : November 13, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
Symbolism of the Quilt
In the story “Everyday Use”, Alice Walker focuses on how important heritage and culture can really be in our world today. In doing this Walker uses symbolism, and two different points of view to help us understand the importance of it all. She uses the symbolism of the quilt to play a very big role in explaining how everyone sees and feels things differently. Anticipating Dee’s arrival mama tries to make sure everything looks very nice in hopes of not disappointing her eldest daughter, Dee knowing she is not a fan of the family. As soon as she got the chance to leave Dee ran for the quickest way out leaving mama, and her little sister Maggie alone. Now because of this Mama really worries about not being an embarrassment to her child, like any mother would. Also with Dee being the only educated one in the family; it puts a little stain on Mama and Maggie. “She remembers feeling "trapped and ignorant" as Dee reads to her and Maggie "without pity’” (Walker 50). Causing Mama to be on edge when Dee is around, because she always tends to flaunt the fact that she has an education, and mama does not. In some cases, people tend to look down on their heritage and believe that they have risen above where they came from. Dee is a perfect example of this; she basically believes she is too good for her original heritage. As a result, Dee left home to go off to school and very rarely comes back to visit her mother and sister. “Most critics see Dee's education and her insistence on reading to Mama and Maggie as further evidence of her separation from and lack of understanding for her family identity and heritage”(Farrell 182). After being on her own she decided to become a part of a whole new culture starting with the changing of her name. "Not Dee,' Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo… I couldn't bear it any longer, being named after the people who oppress me" (Walker 53). In doing this, she became active in the African culture of Black Muslim’s, leaving her...
tracking img