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Century Quilt

  • Date Submitted: 02/20/2012 07:25 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 58.8 
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Mercado, Federico Mercado 1
AP English Lit.

AP Essay The Century Quilt
Marilyn Nelson Waniek’s poem “The Century Quilt” is a well-built piece of literary art that demonstrates the significance of the history behind the quilt. Waniek shows the significance using imagery of colors, well organized sentence structure, a reminiscent tone and vivid descriptions of the quilt and family members.
Waniek demonstrates sentence structure throughout the poem when there are decisive line-breaks to show a transformation in the sentence. An example of this line break is in lines 1 and 2 “ My sister and I were in love / with Meemas Indian Blanket. The first line makes one think that they are in love with someone but when the break occurs the reader finds out that they are actually in love with a blanket and the sisters love that blanket more anything in the world. The poem is narrative, there is no rhyme scheme and no meter this helps contribute to the sentence structure.
Color imagery is used throughout the piece when Waniek uses it to describe the Six Van Dyke squares. Waniek describes the squares as colors and these colors represent the ethnicities within the family, this is a clear use of symbolism. When the sister says “ I’d like to die under” in line 15 she is accepting the quilt to become a part of her life and is content to spend her final moments in this world under the quilt. Waniek also associates the colors of the quilt with love, family and unity.
The quilt has become such a big part of the sisters lifes that they will be content to die under it. Throughout lines 36-38 “ Perhaps under this quilt/ I’d dream of myself/ of my childhood miracles” the sister feel like a child under the quilt because it has been part of their childhood and it reminded   them of Meemas blanket that they loved dearly. In lines 42-43 “ Perhaps I’d meet my son/ or my other child, as yet conceived” the sister is longing to see the future and hopefully one...


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