The symbols of the story, the quilt and the butter churn, represent the two different perspectives that women of this family have regarding household objects. Maggie, the sister who stayed at home, cherishes these objects because of their "everyday use," while Dee, the sister who left and went to college, views them as "artifacts" to be put on display. While there is evidence to suggest that the author sympathizes with Dee's point of view, it has always seemed to me that she sides with Maggie on this issue, as does the girls' mother. Do we want to hang quilts on the wall, or do we want to use them to keep us warm in the winter time? Isn't it possible to appreciate an object because of its history, yet still use it for the purpose for which it was intended? Objects, of course, are simply objects. But the meaning with which we imbue them gives them their power.