The Century Quilt Analysis Essay

The Century Quilt Analysis Essay.

Waniek’s “The Century Quilt” not only illustrates the importance that her Meema’s quilt had in her life but also represents her family, specifically her grandmother. Through many literary devices such as vivid imagery, symbolism, and structure, the author is able to create not only a reminiscent tone, but also depict how Waniek is hopeful for the future.

The poem’s structure is a vital part when creating the complex meanings of the quilt. In the first Stanza, the writer’s nostalgic tone brings forth the significance her grandmother’s blanket had on her.

Waniek writes that she fell “in love with Meema’s Indian blanket,” (1-2). With these lines, Waniek depicts how she discovered the significance a quilt could have on her life. “Now I have found a quilt” (13) Waniek writes in her second stanza. This line is necessary to create the present tense Waniek needs in order to be optimistic about the future. In the third stanza, Waniek is not only reminiscent but also wishful that her experience with her new quilt will shadow her grandmother’s.

Symbolism is a major technique that the author uses to get the meaning of the quilt across to the reader. In every stanza, Waniek likens the quilt to her family in order to describe how much the quilt reminded her of them. To her, her grandmother’s quilt reminded her of her childhood. She describes how she remembered “play[ing] in its folds and be chieftains and princesses” (11-12). She uses these lines to demonstrate how the quilt represented her youthful and energetic days with her sister. In the second stanza she compares one of her new quilt’s squares to “the yellowbrown of mama’s cheeks” (17) to illustrate how the quilt symbolizes the racial diversity of her family.

In the third stanza Waniek expects to have “good dreams for a hundred years under the quilt” (21-23) as her grandmother must have had under her quilt. This stanza again alludes back to her grandmother and the dreams she must have had under her quilt. Waniek considers the things she may dream of when she wrote “perhaps I’d meet my son or other child, as yet unconceived” (42-43). These lines are again alluding to her family specifically to her sons. Her quilt symbolizes every member of her family but specifically her grandmother who introduced her to the love one could have for a quilt.

Waniek uses vivid color imagery in her poem. In the first stanza Waniek writes that she “fell asleep under army green” (2-3) a relatively dull color. Then her grandmother came to live with her and brought a lively and colorful quilt that Waniek “planned to inherit” (9). In the second stanza Waniek writes that in her new quilt “each square holds a sweet gum leaf whose fingers [she] imagined would caress [her] into silence” (18-20). This paints a vivid image of her new quilt gently putting her asleep while also personifying the quilt. Waniek writes of her father’s “burnt umber pride” (39) and her mother’s “ochre gentleness”. These lines paint a vivid picture of the loving qualities that her parents possess.

Marilyn Nelson Waniek is extremely symbolic when describing her quilt and comparing it to her family. Through vibrant imagery and a careful structure Waniek is able to create a reminiscent yet hopeful tone which abetted the writer in creating the complex meaning that Waniek attributes to “The Century Quilt”.

The Century Quilt Analysis Essay

Anne Bradstreet’s “Here Follows Some Verses upon the Burning of Our House” Essay

Anne Bradstreet’s “Here Follows Some Verses upon the Burning of Our House” Essay.

Anne Bradstreet’s “Here Follows Some Verses upon the Burning of Our House” is a perfect example of Puritan writing. Her faith and values are made apparent within the first ten lines of the poem. The poem is entirely about Anne’s thoughts as she watches her house burn. She makes the readers feel as though they are witnessing their own possessions and houses catch fire. Anne rhymes every couple of lines. This affects the way the poem flows and it allows the reader to process the two rhyming lines together before going on to the next couple.

Furthermore, Anne is very conscious of her word choice and uses words with very strong connotations. Words such as fire, ashes and ruin are all used to show the severity of the damage. All of her possessions are destroyed. However, she contrasts those words with words like hope, treasure and love. While the first group of words is used to describe her material possessions, the second group describes her faith and relationship with God.

It is clear that God and salvation are Anne’s first priorities.

Anne Bradstreet alludes to the Bible many times in “Here Follows Some Verses upon the Burning of Our House.” In Line 14 she says, “I blest His name that gave and took.” There are many biblical passages that discuss how God has given us everything and how he can easily take it away. In Line 40 Anne writes, “The arm of flesh didst make thy trust?” She is referring to people who become so full of vanity or pride that they forget that they are only made of human flesh.

They trust in themselves too much. Likewise the Bible says, “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord” (Jeremiah 17:4-7). Perhaps the most apparent allusion that Anne Bradstreet makes is in Line 43. She writes “Thou hast an house on high erect, / Framed by that mighty Architect.” A very similar passage in the Bible reads, “For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Heb. 11:10). Both excerpts discuss how those who are to be saved will live in a paradise, built for them by God.

The idea that salvation would be accompanied by paradise, along with other inspiration, led the Puritans to lead virtuous lives. Anne’s poetry reflects many Puritan values. In the poem she states that after she looked upon her burning home she “blest His name that gave and took, / That laid my goods now in the dust.” She is not angry about losing all of her possessions because she feels that they were God’s to begin with. Anne says that she would not repine over her lost material belongings. One very strong Puritan value that she displays is appreciation for what God has given her. Also, Anne never wonders why God had allowed this tragedy to happen to her or her family.

She simply accepts what He has done. Later in the poem, Anne acknowledges common sins that people often fall victim to. In Line 38 she asks, “And did thy wealth on earth abide? / Didst fix thy hope on mold’ring dust? / The arm of flesh didst make thy trust?” She reiterates the point that God has given her everything and she cannot be too proud of herself or her wealth, because God can take it from her at any moment. From this point on, Anne discusses the paradise that awaits the Elect. She concludes the poem by saying farewell to her property and belongings; she has no need for earthly possessions, because God offers her something greater.

Anne Bradstreet’s “Here Follows Some Verses upon the Burning of Our House” Essay