Alice Walker uses symbolism, theme, and metaphors in her story “Everyday Use.” The first pieces of symbolism in the story
When Dee (Wangero) began taking things that belonged to her mother in order to decorate her new house, the mood changed quickly from bewilderment to acrimony when Dee finally went too far. The sole purpose for Dee’s visit was to procure specific items belonging to her mother. Mom was initially perplexed as to why Dee would want the churn top and dasher and quickly incensed over Dee’s insistence that she was the only one capable of properly caring for the quilts. Wangero is astounded that her mother is going to give Maggie the blankets to be used for everyday use, believes that the quilts need to be preserved, and tells her mother that she doesn’t understand her own culture.
In the story Everyday Use, there is conflict between the two main characters Maggie and Dee. The two sisters are arguing over their Grandma 's quilt. Maggie feels that she deserves the quilt because she will cherish it and make great use out of it, unlike her sister who only wants to frame it in order to remember her heritage. Dee is not used to being told "no" and she has always got everything she has ever asked for, which is why she puts up a fight for the quilt. Dee then goes on to explain to her family on page 172, how she is changing her name to Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo.
When Mama won't let her have the quilts to display, she becomes furious. She claims that Mama and Maggie don't understand their heritage,but she is the one overlooking the important aspects of her family history. The conflict is in the different points of view regarding the value and importance of objects, preservation of history and everyday use. Mrs Johnson and Maggie have a different
Since the beginning of the story Nea believes that she is saving or protecting Sourdi from the expectations of her mother and Mr. Chhay. The mother and the uncle have fix a marriage with an older man named Mr.Chhay. Sourdi is a young girl that has a boyfriend name Duke, But her mom really dosen’t cares what Sourdi thinks or wants. So Sourdi meets Mr.chhay and she feels uncomfortable in the
Furthermore, Sarnowski acknowledges mother’s disappointment as Maggie gives up the quilts, pointing out that they represent memories of family members. The author believes that displaying these quilts will disintegrate the sense of family history they carry. Consequently,
But to Mama these quilts hold a significance importance and have more practical use to it than giving it to Dee. On the other hand, Maggie and Mama shares the same value and hold the same culture that been passing downed to them by their family. We can see that Mama is closed with Maggie more than Dee, as Dee was away, and Maggie did not changed her name and take on another new culture. Mama and Maggie are now the gatekeeper of the culture that been passed down to her, and she rejected and mad at Dee for her rejection of this
She says to Beneatha, “Now- you say after me, in my mother’s house there is still God. In my mother’s house there is still God.” This shows a strong side of Mama because she is strongly sticking to what she believes and is being true to herself. She decided to buy a house for her family because she believed it was in the family’s best interest; although she knew Walter would not be happy she had to think of what was overall the best. However she did feel bad and gave Walter $3,500 of the
In the short story, “Everyday Use,” Alice Walker creates a conflict between Maggie and Dee for the belongings made by their relatives whether they should be kept to use in their house or kept to admire as antiques with Dee to last longer. Walker made items to have symbolism to be used as an everyday thing, but with Dee returning from college she believes she should keep items from being demolished and placed as an item in a museum for observation of her heritage. Walker in the story shows how Maggie and her mother use the quilt as a tradition that has been passed down by every generation in their family by putting them to use. The mother’s purpose towards the quilt is to pass it down by teaching how to quilt so that it could be quilted if
The quilt gives a true connection with the past and the heritage. The mother wanted to pass the tradition to her younger daughter by giving the quilt but Dee, her eldest daughter wanted it for herself, but mother did not give it to her.” I promised to give them quilts to Maggie, for when she married John Thomas” (Walker). The story also shows the struggle over tradition as Dee changes the name to Wangero,” I couldn’t bear it any longer, being named after the people who oppress me”
Another way to say, “Look at me”. Conversely, not only does the traditional aspect of these items mean a great deal to Dee, but they are necessary for Mrs. Johnson and Maggie’s everyday life, they are not in a position use appliances for decoration. This same point applies for when Dee goes into Mrs. Johnsons trunk and finds two quilts that Mrs. Johnson had promised to pass down to Maggie. These quilts had a great deal of historical and traditional value to Mrs. Johnson – her grandmother and aunt had quilted them by hand, they were even made from “scraps of dresses Grandma Dee had worn fifty and more years ago. Bits and pieces of Grandpa Jarrell’s Paisley shirts.
When it comes to conflict she wants everyone to be happy. Giving Dee her grandma’s quilts stopped a conflict. She knew this would make Dee happy.
The mother says that “she used to read to us without pity; forcing words, lies, other folks’ habits” (Walker 251). Dee was always the one to want nicer things. Mama says “at sixteen she had a style of her own: and knew what style was” (Walker 251). When Dee found a man figure, that was more relevant to her than her family, she changed her name. This, again, ruins the family tradition.
The parents informs the way one views others and the world. In the short story “Everyday Use” By Alice Walker Dee had stated “Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts!”.(64) This quote explains and shows how Maggie and Dee’s mother influenced Dees views on others and the world. Their mother has influenced dee to believe that old clothes stitched together by their grandmother, are too important to give to maggie because “She’d probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use”. However others would say that peers influence the way one views others and the world also.
As stated by Brent, “When I found that my master had actually begun to build the lonely cottage, other feelings mixed with those I have described” (Brent, A Perilous Passage in The Slave Girl’s Life). She was hinting at an occurrence between Dr. Flint and herself, where it seems that he was pressuring her into giving him her purity. It was hard for anyone to stay pure if they were always coerced or even forced to engage in any sexual