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Everyday Use

Essay by   •  December 6, 2010  •  Essay  •  560 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,331 Views

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A symbol is a person, place, event, or object that suggests more than just its normal meaning. The symbols in this story, "Everyday Use", were pretty clever and told a lot of clues about the story. Also Little peepholes that would dig into deeper meanings, and hints in the story.

The first symbol, which I thought meant something was towards Maggie and Dee's mom. "I was always better at a man's job." (pg.320). "In real life I am a large, big boned woman with rough, man- working hands." (pg. 318). "I can kill and clean a hog as mercilessly as a man."(pg. 318) I think because man was used a lot referring to their Mom, might have meant that she was the man of the house. Maybe that she was the only parent and that her husband was never around to help after the kids were born. So she really had to be tough and do a lot of things that the men would usually do.

Another symbol I found was one that goes along with Dee. "She burned us with a lot of knowledge we didn't necessarily need to know."(pg. 319). "It is hard to see them clearly through the strong sun." (pg. 320). "Dee next. A dress down to the ground, in this hot weather." (pg. 320). "There are yellows and oranges enough to throw back the light of the sun. I feel my whole face warming from the heat waves it throws out." ( Pgs. 320-321). "She put on some sunglasses that hid everything about the tip of her nose and her chin." (pg. 324). I think because we don't quite know if she burned down the house, these quotes might be hinting at it. They all have the symbol of hot things like fire or warmth when talking about Dee. I think it might have been a clever way of telling the readers that she did indeed start the fire, which burned down the house that she didn't like.

" What happened to Dee?" I wanted to know. "She's dead," Wangero said. " I couldn't bear it any longer, being named after the people who oppress me." (pg. 321). I think this might be a clue that Dee herself is a symbol of change. Knowing that she wanted to change her name and she could have started the house on fire because she wanted a change, a new house. Another symbol that she is change might be how Maggie has scars from the fire I think Dee started and will never change her look, but Dee will always be able to change.

" Maggie can't appreciate these



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