Symbols In Everyday Use By Alice Walker

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Alice walker in Everyday Use demonstrates the understanding of African American heritage. Understanding your heritage is important because you should always look back on where you came from. Where you came from is such a big part of who you are and is something know one can take away from you. When you understand your heritage, you get to pass it on to others. Walker does this by using characterization, symbolism, and theme. In the beginning of the story the narrator who is the mom is waiting for her daughter named dee. She waits in the garden with Maggie. She knows that Maggie and dee do not get along. She imagines a big nice family reunion in her head. Maggie is described as a large big boned woman with rough man working hands. Dee is described…show more content…
“the quilts are the central symbol of the story representing the connectedness of history and intergenerational tries of the family” (“everyday use”). This means that the quilts mean heritage and remind the daughters of grand mom dee. The quilts are fought over at the end of the story because of the meaning of them. One daughter wants them for everyday use and one wants them just to have them because it means heritage to her. The mother at the end of the story agrees that they should be used for everyday use. “Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts! She said. “she’d probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use.” (walker). This shows that dee really wants the quilts but not for the reason her mother wants. Mrs. Johnson ends up giving Maggie the quilts for the right…show more content…
“Everyday use stresses the mother daughter bond and defines the afircan American womens identity in terms of this bond and other family relationships”(Andrews and McCann). Seeing the different views of the sisters really helps the readers understand the meaning of heritage. We don’t only see it between the sisters but the readers see it through minor characters like hakim a barber. “when hakim-a-barber says that he does not eat collard greens and pork- traditional African American foods- he symbolically denies his heritage despite his complicated African name” (“everyday use”). Hakim a barber is dee boyfriend who seems to be not so passionate about his heritage. This is weird to the readers because dee is very passionate bout her heritage. The quote “we sat down to eat and right away he said he didn’t eat collards ad pork was unclean. Wagnero, though, went on through the chitlins and com breaf, the greens and everything else” (Walker). This can be confusing to the readers because some may thing hakim-a-barber is more passionate about his heritage and others may think that dee is. This connects to the theme of what is the real meaning of
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