Everyday Use Essay

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In the following essay, Baker and Pierce-Baker talk about the tradition of quilting in the African-American community, a ritual of creating something out of scraps, an often overlooked indigenous American art form.

A patch is a fragment. It is a vestige of wholeness that stands as a sign of loss and a challenge to creative design. As a remainder or remnant, the patch may symbolize rupture and impoverishment; it may be defined by the faded glory of the already gone. But as a fragment, it is also rife with explosive potential of the yet-to-be-discovered. Like woman, it is a liminal element between wholes.

Weaving, shaping, sculpting, or quilting in order to create a kaleidoscopic and momentary array is tantamount to providing an improvisational response to chaos. Such activity represents a nonce response to ceaseless scattering; it constitutes survival strategy and motion in the face of dispersal. A patchwork...

(read more from the Critical Essay #3 section)

This section contains 2,049 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Everyday Use Study Guide
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Everyday Use from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.