Everyday Use Symbolism Analysis

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In the Story Every Day Use by Alice Walker, there were many symbols. The most prominent symbols were the quilts Dee found in the chest. The quilts caused conflict when Dee wanted to take from the house, even though mama had promised them to Maggie. The quilts meant a lot to the family, but there was a misunderstanding and conflict over the symbolism of the quilts. The family was split because to Maggie and Mama, the quilts represented something different than what Dee wanted them to represent. The quilts symbolized art to Dee. Dee wanted to take the quilts so that she could hang them up to represent her African heritage. However, the rest of her family didn’t want them to be used as art or for show. The quilts symbolized family culture, warmth,…show more content…
Dee comes home and she starts off by telling her family that she has changed her name to Wangero. This is her way of getting in touch with her African heritage. Her name was already a part of her heritage because it was passed down from her aunt and great-grandmother. However, Dee is so disconnected with her black culture she doesn’t see it this way. She didn’t want to identify with that part of her culture anymore. Instead, she wanted to embrace her African heritage and she probably viewed herself as better than the rest of her family. The quilt is also an allegory. It is a story of culture. Quilting was a community activity and has many things are embedded in its patterns. Different patterns are added with each generation and tell a story. The making of a quilts took the clothing, time, love and labor of each contributing family member. They are meant to be used and remembered in a family and that is how they are used to represent their culture. That is why Mama doesn't give Dee the quilts, she sees that Maggie will use them and represent them in the way that they are meant to be. This is also how the author wants the black American culture to be represented. Miss Walker is not saying that Dee’s way is wrong, but it is not the way she feels the culture should be

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