Everyday Use Heritage Symbolism

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Heritage is often overlooked in the pursuit of fitting in, thus lost over generations. Heritage can be powerful and moving, strong and resilient, and often is a compelling factor in who a person is and who one may become. “In Everyday Use for Your Grandmama” by Alice Walker the importance of heritage is shown through the setting and the symbols. By watching the narrator, the reader learns that it is never too late to learn and spread knowledge. The narrator grows and develops along with her daughter, Maggie, and Dee. Settings often are cardinal factors in short stories and “Everyday Use” is no exception; the small family home provides insight into the time period and social standing, and helps draw attention to a motif of the short story,…show more content…
Just like when I’m in church and the spirit of God touches me and I get happy and shout. I did something I never had done before: hugged Maggie to me, then dragged her into the room, snatched the quilts out of miss Wangero’s hands and dumped them into Maggie’s lap... Take one or two of the others, I said to Dee. The narrator learns that she cannot let herself be pushed around by Dee any more and sets an example for Maggie. Maggie learns, through her mother, that she should be confident and speak up, yet still be kind. In addition, Dee learns, although she may never act on it, that she cannot always get her way and she cannot rely on bullying others to giving her what she wants. Character development plays an important role in any fictional literature, especially short stories. The reader sees the characters grow over the short time that the short story takes place. The setting of a small family home and the symbolism of family and heritage through the quilts create a motif stressing the importance of a familial bond as well as the significance of learning about your history. The climax promotes the theme that it is never too late to learn and spread knowledge. The characters ascertain the value of confidence and self worth. The narrator and Maggie are dynamic characters, changing for the better over the course of the short story while Dee is a flat character, with unchanging pompousness and

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