Symbolism In Alice Walker

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Character Analysis and Symbolism in Alice Walker's Everyday Use In Alice Walker's "Everyday Use", the three main characters are necessary in revealing the underlying concepts of the story. The critic Timothy Sexton asserts that the older daughter, Dee, is the "embodiment of the struggle for a unifying identity" (par. 4). In contrast with Dee, the critics Houston A Baker, Jr. and Charlotte Pierce-Baker consider Maggie to be a guardian of history, or "griot" (164). On the other hand, David White describes Mama as having an "inherent understanding of heritage," something less apparent among the two children (par. 3). Dee, Maggie, and Mama serve as artistic representations of the various aspects of African Americans culture and heritage. In addition, they are our creative guide to understanding the identity struggles that African Americans faced during that time period. Dee is a selfish and egotistical character with a superficial understanding of her inheritance. She characterizes the confusion and misguidance of young African Americans in the late 60s and 70s. This is apparent in her Mama is an uneducated, yet practical character. As White demonstrates, Mama "takes pride in the practical aspects of her nature and that she has not spent a great deal of time contemplating abstract concepts such as heritage... [but her lack of education] does not prevent her from having an inherent understanding of heritage" (par. 3). Mama loves and respects her ancestors, as is understood in her description and treatment of the quilts: "They had been pieced together by Grandma Dee and then Big Dee and me had hung them on the quilt frames on the front porch and quilted them... in both of them were Grandpa Jarrell's paisley shirts. And one teeny faded blue piece... that was from Great Grandpa Ezra's uniform that he wore in the Civil War" (103). The quilts are important to Mama as a
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