Everyday Use Symbolism Essay

Words: 1405
Pages: 6

According to Webster’s dictionary, Symbolism is used in literature when one thing is meant to represent something else. Symbolism helps create meaning and emotion in a story. Metaphors and allegory are literary elements that help writers create symbolism in their literary pieces. In “Everyday Use,” Alice Walker tells a story of a mother’s relationship with her two daughters Dee and Maggie. “Everyday Use” tells how mama has to make a choice between her two daughters. Maggie is the youngest of the daughters. Maggie was severely burned in a house fire that left her scared. “Have you ever seen a lame animal, perhaps a dog run over by some careless person rich enough to own a car, sidle up to someone who is ignorant enough to be kind to him? That is the way my Maggie walks. She has been like this, chin on chest, eyes on ground, feet in shuffle ever since the fire that burned the house to the ground.”(White) Maggie always gave into her sisters wants because she felt her sister was smarter and prettier than her. Maggie's burned skin represents how she's been "burned" by the events of her life. She's …show more content…
Mama describes herself as “a large, big-boned woman with rough, man-working hands. In the winter I wear flannel nightgowns to bed and overalls during the day. I can kill and clean a hog as mercilessly as a man” (White). This description, along with her reference to a 2nd grade education (White), leads the reader to conclude that this woman takes pride in the practical aspects of her nature and that she has not spent a great deal of time contemplating abstract concepts such as heritage. However, her lack of education and refinement does not prevent her from having an inherent understanding of heritage based on her love and respect for those who came before her.(White) Mama is the one who keeps the family together even after the fire and is able to get the things that Dee wants. The nice dresses and is able to pay for