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Everyday Use Essay | Critical Essay #1

This Study Guide consists of approximately 40 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Everyday Use.
This section contains 1,361 words
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Critical Essay #1

Piedmont-Marton is a professor of English and the coordinator of the writing center at the University of Texas at Austin. In the following essay, she discusses the quilting metaphor in "Everyday Use."

Alice Walker's early story "Everyday Use" is clustered around a central image: quilting and quilts. Her use of this metaphor is important to critics because she went on to develop the theme more fully in her later work, especially the novel The Color Purple. Simply put, the quilt is a metaphor for the ways in which discarded scraps and fragments may be made into a unified, even beautiful, whole.

Quilting symbolizes the process out of which the unimportant and meaningless may be transformed into the valued and useful. Walker finds this metaphor especially useful for describing African-American women's lives, which traditional history and literature have often ignored and misrepresented.

Alice Walker is not the first to...

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This section contains 1,361 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Everyday Use Study Guide
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Everyday Use from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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