Symbolic Essays Everyday Use

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To Dee, coming home with her big gold hoop earrings and bright long dresses is a demonstration that her traditions have changed.

Her mother finds it difficult to get over this change saying, “At sixteen she had a style of her own and knew what style was" and she also admits that, “Often I fought off the temptation to shake her." Just as with the case of the quilts, her mother thinks they should be useful and not decorative while her daughter, with her different educational traditions believes that they should not go to use and should stand for something.

She is no longer tied to the world of everyday usefulness (working around the land and the house) but is more related to the world of education and a more ethereal kind of usefulness.

For her mother, the situation is quite the opposite.

As Becky climbs the social stairway, she is likened to a spider.

At the close of the book, she has literally entangled and destroyed Joseph just as a spider would its victim.

At the charade party Rebecca plays Clytemnestra, symbolic of her destruction first of Rawdon, second of Joseph.

(Clytemnestra killed her husband, Agamemnon, when her lover's courage failed.) Rebecca is also called Circe, the siren who lured men to their death.

In terms of this analysis and summary of themes in “Everyday Use” one should note that that these two ways of thinking about African American traditions create the tension in the short story and although there is no “correct" viewpoint about these traditions expressed, the set up of the story allows the reader to consider both sides.

The plot of “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker itsekf Even from the beginning of “Everyday Use" by Alice Walker, it is clear there is a tension between Dee and her family because of her outside education.

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