Analysis of “The Century Quilt” Written by Marilyn Waniek, “The Century Quilt” describes the importance of heritage in the narrator’s life. Using imagery, tone, and structure, Waniek effectively illustrates the importance of her quilt. The quilt represents not only her family’s heritage but also her future heritage. Waniek’s diction creates a nostalgic tone: “I remembered how I’d planned to inherit that blanket” (Lines 9-10) and “my sister and I were in love with Meema’s Indian blanket” (lines 1-2). Her word choices “remembered” and “were in love,” Waniek emphasizes a sentimental memory.
Dee is attractive, stylish, & well educated – with some apparently portrayed traits of selfishness, brashness and excessive confidence. Her sister Maggie on the other hand is a relatively timid, and quiet young woman. She hasn’t received any formal education like her sister but has learned a few traditional skills, like quilting, from the family. Dee believes the quilts shouldn’t be used for warmth, but for the preservation of her African-American cultural ideals. This way, she could display them in her home; much akin to museum pieces.
In the story, the quilt illustrates a tale of the struggle of the family’s ancestors, and just as a piece of stitching comes loose Dee helps her family to learn a lesson that keeps the quilt (a family’s ancestral history) intact by sharing it so that others too may learn to become educated in their history and take pride in it. Walker pushes her readers to continue the practices of those before them. Her short narrative is a call for the advancement of the education of the black
Walker uses symbolism, and imagery to convey that heritage is what defines you. Walker uses quilts, burned house, and scars as symbols to show the audience the theme is, heritage defines who you are. The quilt represents that heritage defines you every day. No matter what your heritage is with you every day. In the text Dee, Maggi’s sister comes back to the house and wants Maggie’s two quilts.
She felt the first two groups were more honorable in comparison to the last two. The concept of socioeconomic status is very evident in her approach. McDougald points out that the “superficial critics who have had contact only with the lower grades of Negro women, claim that they are more immoral than the other groups of women.” Just because a woman doesn’t go to college and maintain a career does not mean she is corrupted or shameful. This shallow view of women is the same view that some White Americans had of Black Americans. McDougald was participating in the torment of her own race and she did it with selfish reasons.
Dorothea L. Dix PSY 310 December 19th, 2010 Dorothea L. Dix Dorothea L. Dix was a woman of many splendors. She was not one who wanted credit for her accomplishments for she acted simply in a matter that would best help people. She was driven by the purest desire to help individuals obtain a better life. “There are few cases in history where a social movement of such proportions can be attributed to the work of a single individual” (Gardner & Kovach, 1972). Dorothea accomplished extreme reform for the treatment of the mentally ill.
However, Enright contradicts the perceptions of women through the characters of Rachel and Diane. They are portrayed as strong, independent, motivated and are a suitable role model for Black Rock’s women. Rachel and her mother represent the middle class of people as they live on house on the hill, staying out of the conflict of Tracy’s murder. The house on the hill symbolises that Rachel and Marian are separated from the situation as Marian tends to brush it off as if it has nothing to do with her. Whereas Diane shows her strength by going back to school, and trying connect with Jade and Jared.
In my perspective, Hilly grew up with the mentality that some people are superior than others, and maybe that’s why she acts racist against colored people. In the other hand, she is kind to her child because they are of her own kind. She takes care of her own children because she does not want a “black” main taking care of them like the other mothers.
The most significant objects in the story, which Dee wanted to have, are the two hand sewn quilts that were created by Grandma and Aunt Dee. These quilts are full of history; contain pieces of dresses worn by Grandma Dee and a piece of Dee’s Great Grandfather’s Civil War uniform. The quilts had already been promised to Maggie for when she married John Thomas, but Dee feels the quilts should be hers. Dee saw the quilts as objects to be shown off and kept in perfect condition, while Maggie had an emotional connection to the quilts that would last even without them. “‘She can have them, Mama,’ she said, like somebody used to never winning anything, or having anything reserved for her.
Others, including her mother and her Aunt, significantly shaped Sybylla’s identity. The impact of Sybylla’s mother’s words “you are lazy and bad” as well as “you’re really a very useless girl for your age” create a negative self-perception of her identity. The use of direct speech enables the reader to visualise and recreate the scene, therefore understanding the effects of other’s on the formation of Sybylla’s identity. Contrary to this, Sybylla’s Aunt Helen promotes positive growth in Sybylla by nurturing her. Her kind and gracious Aunt build’s Sybylla’s confidence and self esteem and is gentle and understanding, recognising her inner beauty, while reinforcing her physical beauty.