Everyday Use Analysis

297 Words2 Pages
“Everyday Use” The theme of “Everyday Use” is that sometimes you miss the bigger meaning of aspects of life when you focus on the material world. This theme is supported by imagery and symbolism in the story. The quilts symbolize family bonds. In paragraph 55 the story says that “[the quilts] had been pieced by Grandma Dee and then Big Dee and me had hung them on the quilt frames on the front porch and quilted them.” We are also told that “Big Dee” and “Grandma Dee” taught Maggie how to quilt. These things recognize the bonding that happens between family members as an heirloom, such as the quilts, is passed down through generations. It's too bad Dee doesn't figure out this deeper meaning of the quilts. She obviously understands that the quilts symbolize heritage, as she scolds her mother for failing to make that connection. She seems to miss the part about how they also represent bonds and connections between family members and she has no problem jeopardizing her connection with her mother and sister by starting a nasty fight over who should get the quilts. Animal references are used to describe Maggie throughout the story. The narrator says “Have you ever seen a lame animal…a dog run over by some careless person…sidle up to someone who is ignorant enough to be kind to them? That is the way my Maggie walks.” in paragraph 9. This emphasizes that Maggie doesn't seem to regard herself as a human being worthy of much respect, at least in the earlier parts of the story. By the end of the story, Maggie gains more respect for herself when she realizes that she doesn’t always have to remain in Dee’s shadow. This makes her a static
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