Significant Symbols In Everyday Use

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Symbols are marks used to represent an object or function. The symbols in the story are practical for Mama and Maggie and representative for Dee. Mama and Maggie both create and use everyday their familyr’s heritage, but Dee only wants praise and credit for what her family has created. Alice Walker uses symbols to depict Maggie and Mama as practical souls and Dee as a romantic soul.

In Everyday Use, the churn is a symbol of heritage for Dee, while it is still practical and used everyday by mama and Maggie. Dee feels the need to display her heritage rather than use it practically like Mama and Maggie. When Dee arrived and they sat down to eat dinner, she noticed the churn in the corner of the room. She excitedly jumped up and said that she knew there was something she wanted to ask for. This churn top is what I need, she said (56). She went on to tell them that she could use the churn top as a centerpiece for the alcove table(56). Dee wanting the churn top for decoration indicates that she is more interested in showing off what her family has done, rather than the fact that it is a tool used everyday by Mama and Maggie.

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Another symbol Walker uses is the bench. The bench also symbolizes heritage for Dee. Mama says that although Hakim- a- barber did not eat the food because it was unclean, Dee was delighted by everything, even the fact that we still used the benches her daddy made (55). Dee cried, i never knew how lovely these benches are(55).

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