Symbolism In Everyday Use By Alice Walker

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The story Everyday Use by Alice Walker contains a number of highly important messages. It is perhaps one of the most important texts she has ever written. In this story, Walker emnodies the change that many black Americans would undergo when they moved away to receive a higher education. Dee presents herself as higher than the others in her family. Because Dee has been extremely accustomed to getting her own way her whole life, her mother’s newfound reluctance toward her wishes is highly upsetting for Dee. The symbolism behind the title includes the difference between use and admiration, the point of unusable objects, and the moving on from the past.

Within Everyday Use the difference between things that are used and objects that are admired is established. Dee seems to believe that objects that embody her culture are meant to be admired rather than used, which is why she becomes so frustrated. At the simple notion that the quilts would be used everyday, Dee becomes frantic and simply will not have a part in it. “Maggie can’t
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Clearly, their mother believes that the quilts Dee brings about should be used for their original purpose: keeping people warm. Their mother does not necessarily see the point in hanging up a quilt, rather than putting it on one’s bed. When Dee shouts about Maggie using her quilts everyday, her mother responds, “I reckon she would. God knows I been saving ‘em for long enough with nobody using ‘em. I hope she will!” (Walker 1319) Her mother is actually confused as to what Dee is referring to. She is clueless to the fact that Dee does not plan on using her quilts at all, but rather would like to hang them, so as to be admired. Mother does not understand. She wonders, what is the point of a quilt if not to keep warm? She believes that an object is pointless if it is not useful at all to the one who wishes to use the particular