Imagery And Allegory In Everyday Use By Alice Walker

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“Everyday Use” is a short story written by Alice Walker that is about a mother that has two daughters and she is waiting one of the daughter’s to come visit. The mother just goes by the name Mama but the daughters are named Maggie and Dee. The narrator is the Mama in which she gives a vivid explanation about their life in her point of view. Alice Walker uses imagery, allegories, and figure of speech throughout the story to paint a picture into the reader mind of what is taking place and visualize the characters in the story.
Maggie seems to be African American. Maggie has darker skin than her sister. She has a thin body. Her mother describes her as “lame animal, perhaps a dog run over by some careless person rich enough to own a car”. She
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Her mother has always protected her. They experienced a house fire which caused a lot of damage to Maggie’s body. The mother uses imagery to describe how the fire affected Maggie body. She says “Sometimes I can still hear the flames and feel Maggie’s arm sticking to me, her hair smoking and her dress falling off her in the flames her in little black papery flakes” (298). Due to Maggie being burned in the fire, it causes her to have not seek much attention from other people and have little self confidence. She is very shy and hides behind her mother to avoid interactions with people. Maggie is even nervous her own sister comes to visit. According to the text, Maggie will be nervous until after her sister goes: she will stand hopelessly in corners, homely and ashamed of the burn scars down her arms and legs, eying her sister with a mixture of envy and awe (297). Maggie is a static character. She is shy and timid and remains that way throughout the entire story. Her motivation in the story is wanting to have the same opportunities or lifestyle as her sister. Maggie is a round character because she is affected by her environment. Maggie is jealous of her sister-She thinks her sister has held life always in the palm of one hand , that “no” is a world the world never learned to stay to her. (297). She is affected by the house fire as well which altered her
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