Family Heritage And Symbols In Everyday Use

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One can find out about family heritage through formal instruction; in any case, genuine heritage is passed down from age through their narratives, pictures, and different collections that our families hold dear to their souls. In the short story, “Everyday Use,” by Alice Walker she teaches us family heritage and symbols; what it is and who can receive it. Two hand sewed quilts turn into the focal point of conflict in the story.

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They are also used to symbolize the family heritage. A quilt is made up of events, circumstances and influences that shape how one see and respond to the world. In the story, Mama, is the narrator who guides the reader through two different perspectives of her daughters. As the two sisters have diverse appearance and identities, they have alternate point of views on heritage. Walker uses quilts to symbolize the heritage and describes the two girls’ view on quilts to show their perspectives on heritage. Many may question how can two young women from the same rich inheritance of family, history and community be so different?

Initially, Dee’s point of view on family heritage is not the same as her sister. Whatever her family brings to the table is never enough. Dee is the older sibling, who has wandered from the world she experienced in her childhood, yet never felt a part. The story is set with regards to her returning home from college. Dee considers heritage as something that has an extrinsic value. She trusts that the best possible approach to acknowledge and protect her heritage is to not place it into her regular everyday use, but rather to appreciate it and use it as an accessory. Such a thought is uncovered when Dee says, “Maggie can’t value these quilts! She’d most likely be in reverse enough to put them to regular use.” When the mama asks Dee what she would do with the quilts, she says, “Hang them” (2378), which demonstrates that Dee thinks about the quilts just as tangible antiques. Moreover, the way Dee dress is different than her family. ” A dress down to the ground… yellows and oranges enough to throw back the light of the sun. Earrings gold, too… Bracelets dangling and making noises… ” Her hair, “stands straight up like the wool on a sheep,” (2379).

This is the manner by which Mama depicts her daughters’

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