Everyday Use Symbolism Analysis

Words: 565
Pages: 3

Quilted Communication Everyday life is filled with symbols. The alphabet, for example, is a collection of symbols that we use to communicate with one another. In that way, literary symbols are similar. Used to enhance our communication with and understanding of each other, literary symbols function figuratively and literally at the same time, demanding our attention and serving as a vessel to self discovery. In “Everyday Use,” symbolism adds depth to the story and challenges the reader to put thought into and discover for themselves a deeper meaning within the story.
Symbols can very easily be missed, as many read stories solely for their face value. The most meaningful literary figure of speech, for many people it’s also the most difficult to understand. Mainly this is because of the flexibility of the meaning of a symbol. Lots of times, a symbol “is so general in meaning that it can suggest a great variety of specific meanings.” (Arp 750). The overall effect of a symbol can be different for different people. For one person it may merely be an objective representation of an idea, but for another it causes deep introspection, allowing for them to observe their own thoughts and feelings.
In the story “Everyday Use” by
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The newfound infatuation Dee has acquired with her family history is just that. An infatuation, not a true appreciation of it and of the useful articles she believes it can be represented by. Used by their family to actually make butter to feed them, Dee decides she wants the top of it to display in her home. The butter churner, and how Dee only wanted the top, symbolizes how Dee only wanted to participate in only a part of her family heritage, not the whole thing. Going back to exploitation of culture, the butter churner also symbolized how Dee only seemed to care about displaying her family history like a decoration, not practicing it, like how she did the butter