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Symbolism And Characters Throughout Everyday Use English Literature Essay

In the narrative “ Everyday Use, ” Alice Walker uses a elaborate description to assist depict the symbolism of the alone and extremely valued comforters, every bit good as, contrasting the characters throughout the narrative. The quilts base as a specific symbol and as more than merely a originative piece of graphics throughout the narrative. Harmonizing to an article written by Sam Whitsitt, “ the comforter, itself, represents the history and tradition that binds the African civilization to the yesteryear and the yesteryear to the present ” ( Whitsitt, 445 ) .

The comforters helps portray the subject of African American heritage throughout the narrative and binds Mama ‘s ascendants and her heritage wholly. The comforters signify the bond between each coevals and the impact they have on each chief character in the narrative, which include Mama, Dee and Maggie. Walker ‘s use of the comforters throughout the narrative besides helps show the differences between each of the characters. The comforters are the chief focal point in the narrative that brings out the characters true personalities and shows the differences in those personalities.

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Throughout the narrative “ Everyday Use ” by Alice Walker, the comforters help portray the alone cultural symbolism of the African civilization and the manner they view quilting, every bit good as, exemplifying the differences of the chief characters in the narrative.

In the narrative, quilting is used as a symbol to mean the African American yesteryear. The comforters are a primary symbol that stands for the ties of heritage and the typical civilization of Mama ‘s household.

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Harmonizing to an article written by Claudia Tate, Barbara T. Christian, the individual who showcases the principal of Walker ‘s plants and the traditions of Afro-american literature, explains that “ Walker articulates the metaphor of quilting to stand for the originative bequest that African Americans have inherited from their maternal ascendants ” ( Tate, 308 ) . Quilting is portion of the African American yesteryear and travels from coevals to coevals. Harmonizing to an article written by David Cowart, “ the comforter that Dee, or Wangero Leewanika Kemanjo, battles over links her coevals to old coevalss and, hence, the comforter is shown to stand for the African American yesteryear ” ( Cowart, 171 ) . There are many types of unique forms in the comforters that Mama and Dee are challenging over. Harmonizing to Whitsitt ‘s article, “ many African American quilters employ big, frequently abstract designs ” , the usage of these different designs shows the singularity of the comforter ( Whitsitt, 454 ) . The forms in the comforters represent the African American yesteryear and Mama ‘s heritage. “ In both of them were garbages of frocks Grandma Dee had worn 50s and more old ages ago. Spots and pieces of Grandpa Jattell ‘s Paisley shirts. And one teeny faded bluish piece, about the size of a penny matchbox, that was from Great Grandpa Ezra ‘s uniform that he wore in the Civil War ” ( Walker, 113 ) . The usage of these different types of forms in the comforters symbolizes the history of Mama ‘s household and the creativity they had. The cherished stuffs used in doing the comforters represent the civilization and the high value they each contain. The cloth that is used in the devising of the comforters shows Mama ‘s alone civilization and the love her household has for their civilization. The work Mama, Grandma Dee, and Big Dee put into the comforters show their strong African American heritage and background.

In the African American civilization many comforters travel from coevals to coevals to demo one ‘s household ‘s civilization and where they came from ( Cowart, 171 ) . The comforters Dee and Mama are contending over are to be traveled from coevals to coevals, besides, to assist maintain the civilization alive. The comforters play a major function in the household because of the esteemed heritage they each contain. They help demo the typical African heritage and particular cultural symbolism. The quilt ties everything, heritage included, together. As the comforters are passed down the household ‘s history and civilization is past down, besides, which makes the comforters play a particular function in the African American civilization.

The comforters made by Mama, Grandma Dee and Big Dee are non merely used as a symbol throughout the narrative but are shown as objects that the African American civilization supports in modesty because of the value the they contain ( Whitsitt, 455 ) . The comforters contain a historic value because of the creativity that was put into doing them. As Patricia Mainardi notes in Whitsitt ‘s article, “ many dwellers of the African civilization who make the comforters sign them and day of the month them to demo the high value they contain and besides put a list in their will of who should inherit the comforters they make one time they pass off ” ( Whitsitt, 455 ) . The comforters have a specific value and are treated with much attention because of the strong civilization they uphold. Throughout the narrative Mama and Maggie separate the comforters as more than merely a piece of graphics, alternatively they see them as something to prize in recollection of loved 1s. Harmonizing to Whitsitt ‘s article, “ the quilt represents those values of things which do non go around, make non roll, make non gel traded or sold but, instead, remain at place ” ( Whitsitt, 454 ) . They value them because the comforters remind them of their darling relations, such as Grandma Dee and Big Dee.

The comforters portray a high value throughout the narrative and because of this high value Mama promises the comforter to Maggie for “ when she marries ” ( Whitsitt, 455 ) . Mama wants to give Maggie the comforters because of the history they each contain and because Mama wants the comforters to be utilized in mundane usage. If the comforters were to be hung on the wall, like Dee wanted to make to continue the African American heritage, so the true civilization would n’t be shown. On the other manus, if the comforter was put to everyday usage, like Maggie would make with the comforter, so the African heritage would be shown and kept alive because it was being put to utilize. Mama wants to give Maggie the comforters for that ground. Mama knows Maggie will continue the comforters and set them to everyday usage to retrieve her ascendants and their households ‘ history and civilization.

Throughout the narrative the comforter non merely shows symbolism and value but besides helps in contrasting each character. Harmonizing to the article by Susan Farrell, Dee is seen throughout the narrative as “ shallow, condescending, and manipulative, every bit good as, excessively concerned with manner, manner, and aesthetics, and therefore as missing a true apprehension of her heritage ” ( Farrell, 179 ) . Mama remembers Dee as a unafraid miss who, unlike herself, “ would ever look anyone in the eyes. Hesitation was non portion of her nature ” ( Farrell, 181 ) . Dee is seen throughout the narrative as really different so Mama and Maggie because she is really selfish and demanding ( Farrell, 181 ) . Maggie, on the other manus, was the complete antonym of her sister. Maggie, throughout the narrative, was seen as the quiet and timid kid with no features that related to her sister. In Farrell ‘s article, she states that “ most readers see Mama and Maggie as holding a “ true ” sense of heritage as opposed to Dee ‘s false or shallow apprehension of the past ” ( Farrell, 183 ) . Mama and Maggie are seen throughout the narrative as desiring to care for their heritage by maintaining the comforters to utilize, every bit good as, to retrieve loved 1s. Dee, on the other manus, sees the comforters as something that should be kept in modesty and to hang on the wall as a alone piece of graphics. Maggie ‘s moderateness in the narrative contrasts with Dee ‘s bravery ( Farrell, 183 ) . When Dee says that Maggie would destroy the comforters by seting them to everyday usage, and that hanging the comforters would be the lone manner to continue them, Maggie, “ like person used to ne’er winning anything, or holding anything reserved for her, ” meekly answers: “ She can hold them, Mama, I can ‘member Grandma Dee without the comforters ” ( Farrell, 183-184 ) . Once this occurs, Mama acts in a different mode than she has earlier. She sees Maggie standing with her custodies hidden in her skirt and says: “ When I looked at her like that something hit me in the top of my caput and ran down to the colloidal suspensions of my pess. Just like when I ‘m in church and the spirit of God touches me and I get happy and cry ” ( Farrell, 184 ) . This powerful feeling causes Mama to make something she “ ne’er had done before ” ; she “ snatched the comforters out of Dee ‘s custodies and dumped them into Maggie ‘s lap ” ( Farrell, 184 ) . This scene in the narrative is the lone portion where Mama acts otherwise than earlier. Alternatively of moving like the patient Maggie, Mama begins to move more like Dee, with her refusal to endorse down and her motive to stand up for herself ( Farrell, 184 ) . The comforter in the narrative acts as a manner to contrast the characters and show their different personalities.

Throughout the narrative, the comforters typify and demo the value of the African American civilization, every bit good as, moving in a manner to demo the differences between the chief characters in “ Everyday Use ” . The comforters play a major function in “ Everyday Use ” and are mentioned throughout the full narrative. The comforters have an impact on each character throughout the narrative, and they help in contrasting each character and demoing symbolism of the African American civilization. The mentioning of the comforters display the importance of the African American heritage and the true value it has on Mama, Maggie, and Dee. Dee is shown desiring the comforters to merely hang on the wall and demo their alone civilization from afar. In actuality, the comforter is shown as a symbol of the African American heritage and importance of retrieving loved 1s. The recollection of Mama ‘s ascendants will besides be preserved everlastingly with the usage of the comforter in mundane life. The values of the comforters are shown as a manner to retrieve the loved 1s who helped in the devising of them and besides of Mama ‘s ascendants. The comforters portray the alone cultural bond between Mama ‘s ascendants and her heritage. The quilt binds Mama ‘s ascendants and the value of her heritage together and shows the impact the comforter has on her, Maggie and Dee. The quilt brings out the diverse personalities of Mama, Maggie and Dee throughout the narrative and the different positions they have on their heritage, every bit good as, the actions they each take. With the use of the comforters, the differentiation between each character is shown, every bit good as, the alone cultural symbolism throughout the full narrative.

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Symbolism And Characters Throughout Everyday Use English Literature Essay. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

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