Symbolism Essay

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Magen Merchant English 102 10/28/12 Symbolism Essay Writers use many literary devices to add layers of meaning to his or her writing. One way to do this is by using symbolism. Symbolism is when writers use animals, elements, things, places, or colors to represent other things. For example a dove is a universal representation for peace. When a reader understands a symbol being used, he or she connect its meaning to the story and allows him or her to understand the story on a deeper level. In “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker, “A Worn Path” by Eudora Welty, and “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner the authors use respectively a quilt, a piece of marble cake, and a house as symbols in their stories. In Alice Walker's "Everyday Use", she uses symbolic quilts to express the differences of understanding one's heritage within a single family. The main characters in this story are Mrs. Johnson, Maggie and Dee. Both Maggie and Dee want to keep the handmade quilts to remind them of their grandmother who passed away and of the family heritage. This causes controversy between the two, because they argue about who should be the sister to keep the quilts. Dee feels like Maggie is incapable of appreciating the quilts. “ ‘Maggie can’t appreciate these quilts!’ she said, ‘She’s probably be backward enough to put them to everyday use’ ” (12). These quilts are really important to the girls, because there are several pieces of cloth that are sewn together and it was passed down through the family. The way the quilts are sewn together could be symbolic of their family sticking together through all these generations. This story does not only contain symbolism, but it is about symbolism itself. In Eudora Welty’s “A Worn Path”, Phoenix Jackson makes a journey into town. During the course of her journey, Phoenix is visited several times by a dream when she was flat on her back and

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