Whitney Otto's How to Make an American Quilt and Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It

Whitney Otto's How to Make an American Quilt and Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It

Length: 1270 words (3.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Whitney Otto's How to Make an American Quilt and Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It


Many times when I write it is difficult to locate a general theme, or even a clear and precise point. Too often, my papers seem to deviate from the intentional purpose stated in the introduction. The topic and primary idea need to be effectively introduced at the beginning so that the reader knows what to look for and what to expect. Many times, my writing consists of a solid introduction with a good idea, but it wanes as it nears the ending and the conclusion is not effective so as to remain consistent with the proper sequence of the sentence (2-3-1). The reader of my work must distinguish the most important point of the work, understanding the general theme, while remaining captivated by a consistently interesting paper. If a primary point exists, it needs to be expanded, emphasized, or supported. The work needs to remain interesting and captivating throughout. For the reader to infer my opinion on the subject matter, I must show approval or disapproval of it in some way. The results of this personal critique correlate to 101 Dalmatians, 7th Heaven, How to Make an American Quilt written by Whitney Otto, and A River Runs Through It written by Norman Maclean. Each of these works contains a main point, a theme, and this is expanded, emphasized, or supported throughout the plot.

The reader is abruptly introduced to the four texts at the beginning. In A River Runs Through It, Maclean introduces the setting and background of the story more effectively, but he still jumps into the plot by beginning with "In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing" (1). That first sentence serves as an introduction, yet it is not a typical beginning point. Otto, likewise, begins her novel with instructions; "You need a large wooden frame and enough space to accommodate it" (7). Even though these authors begin their stories by jumping into the plot, the authors do provide sufficient background serving to remove much of the abruptness. The prologues and introductions found in the books explain what is ahead in the plot; much the same way previews and commercials explain the direction of the plot in the television show and movie. The reader and viewer can anticipate the plot and its direction, making the first line a necessary bridge into the story ahead.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Whitney Otto's How to Make an American Quilt and Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It." 123HelpMe.com. 21 Nov 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=27266>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It

- Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It Throughout A River Runs Through It, Norman Maclean emphasizes the relationship between nature, art, and faith. The concise, simple sentence with which he chooses to open his story captures the essence of all one hundred pages: in his family, 'there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing' (1). Reverend Maclean believes that both fly fishing and spiritual belief are 'exact arts,' if such a term can exist without paradox. The Reverend holds the firm conviction that 'all good things ' trout as well as eternal salvation ' come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy' (4)....   [tags: Norman maclean River Runs Through Essays]

Research Papers
936 words (2.7 pages)

Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It Essay

- A Hobby or a Way of Life Religion and tradition are two ways that families come together. However in Norman Maclean’s novella, A River Runs Through It, the Maclean family’s devotion to their Presbyterian religion and their tradition of fly-fishing is what undeniably brought the family together. Under the father’s strict Presbyterian values, his sons, Norman and Paul used fly-fishing as the link that brought them closer together and helped them bond with their father on a different level. The family’s hobby of fly-fishing was started just for fun....   [tags: Maclean River Through Literature Analysis]

Research Papers
1318 words (3.8 pages)

Relationships in Norman MacLean's A River Runs Through It Essay

- Relationships in Norman MacLean's A River Runs Through It "Eventually the watcher joined the river, and there was only one of us. I believe it was the river." The river that Norman Maclean speaks of in A River Runs Through It works as a connection, a tie, holding together the relationships between Norman and his acquaintances in this remote society. Though "It" is never outwardly defined in the novella there is definite evidence "It" is the personality of the people and that the river is running through each individual personality acting as the simple thread connecting this diverse group of people....   [tags: River Runs Through It Norman MacLean Essays]

Research Papers
767 words (2.2 pages)

The Quilt of Love Essay

- TThe story “Everyday Use” and the quilt reminded me of the importance of quilts. Quilts were made with love and given as a remembrance of an event or several events and the person that created the quilt. The segment of this story brought back thoughts and memories from years ago. On June 20, 1981, even at the young age of 19, I knew in my heart this is a huge mistake. I am dreading what is going to occur. I do not want to go through with it but my parents taught us to be responsible for our actions....   [tags: quilt, gift, grandmother]

Research Papers
828 words (2.4 pages)

The World Of American Colonization Essay examples

- Introduction Quilting has been around before the European settlers arrived in the New World. A quilt is a sandwich type cloth with a layers of fabric, padding, you sew two or more materials together. The word “quilt” comes from the latin word “culcita” which means stuffed sack, According to Johnson “but it came into the English language from the French word cuilte.” (Johnson, 2016). Quilting can be traced back to ancient egypt and china, later in the eleventh century and in the eighteenth century....   [tags: Quilting, Quilt, Patchwork quilt]

Research Papers
1187 words (3.4 pages)

Analysis Of Alice Walker 's ' The Quilt ' Essays

- Gemini Alice Walker is a renowned African American novelist and poet who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1982. She is a Georgian, and graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in New York in 1965. Everyday Use is one of her most widely read popular short stories in which she addresses how African Americans were struggling with their cultural terms and identities in this country. The background of the story is around late 60s to early 70s shortly after the onset of African American Civil Right Movement; according to the clues in the plot of the story such as the Lone Star pattern (Texas) on the rags (from Great Grandfather’s uniform in Civil War) stitched on the quilts, the story should take place in t...   [tags: Racism, African American, Race, Slavery]

Research Papers
1322 words (3.8 pages)

The Century Quilt By Marilyn Nelson Wenick Essay

- There exists, in each and every individual, a desire to belong to something greater than one’s self. While there is much in life that one must discover on their own, the security ensured through the bonds of acceptance provides many with a means of identification. Such classification is exemplified in the poem “The Century Quilt” by Marilyn Nelson Wenick, where familial bonds are examined through the means of a family coverlet. Through the utilization of literary techniques, the author effectively develops the complex meaning of the century quilt....   [tags: Family, Grandparent, Family history, Genealogy]

Research Papers
1123 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Norman The Older Brother Of The Maclean Household

- When two siblings are born together, and are close in age, many people wonder whether they will be the same or different altogether. A “River Runs through it” shows two brothers who grew up in the same household, and grew up loving to do the same activity fly fishing. Both brothers were raised in a very strict presbyterian household. Norman is the older brother, and he is much more responsible and family orientated. Paul is the irresponsible younger brother; Paul as an adult was not at home much anymore....   [tags: Family, Sibling, Parent]

Research Papers
721 words (2.1 pages)

A River Runs Through It Essay example

- All lives revolve around decisions and instances from ones past. In A River Runs Through It (1992), director Robert Redford uses this idea and applies it to a true story of two brothers from Montana, Norman and Paul Maclean (Craig Sheffer and Brad Pitt, respectively). Based on the autobiographical novel by Norman Maclean himself, River uses Maclean’s metaphysical beliefs about life and nature to present its many themes. Using a longing score, various film devices, and a story line involving themes of youth, loss, and the pitfalls of pride, Robert Redford crafts a film about the beauty of the past....   [tags: Norman Maclean, Robert Redford, Montana]

Research Papers
1226 words (3.5 pages)

Apt Pupil, Daily Show, Perfect Storm, and How to Make an American Quilt

- Apt Pupil, Daily Show, Perfect Storm, and How to Make an American Quilt - How Will These Help My Writing. Apt Pupil Psychological thriller Lack of a conclusion Not enough character development Plot didn't develop Daily Show Appeals to a specific audience Comedy and satire of the news and current events Sensationalism Perfect Storm Use of imagery Believable dialogue Suspenseful situations Believable reactions How to Make an American Quilt Complete characterization Plots independent of each but make an interdependent story Believable events and reactions The four works; Apt Pupil, Daily Show, Perfect Storm, and How to Make an American Quilt are all very respectable in their individu...   [tags: The Daily Show Perfect Storm]

Free Essays
655 words (1.9 pages)

Related Searches

Similarly, a good introduction is necessary to provide sufficient background, to explain the direction or the point of the essay, and to bridge into the series of points that serve to prove an inferred author’s opinion.

Through the plot, the author or the writer can expand, emphasize, or support the major points and the theme of the paper. There is a main plot involved in each story line, but there is also an underlying theme that can be inferred from the plot. How to Make an American Quilt is based on love and relationships found in various people in differing circumstances, but the underlying theme is that of the quilt and how it binds the pieces of love and relationships into a whole. The plot of A River Runs Through It consists of Paul’s life and how it affects his family, while the river and its "natural flow" of life are found in the undercurrent of the story. The bulk of the action in 101 Dalmatians is the kidnapping of the puppies, but family togetherness is the subtle theme. 7th Heaven’s plot is centered around the grandfather’s re-marriage, but there are branching story plots involving each character so that those sub-plots infiltrate the primary conflict of re-marriage. The four authors differ in their approach to bolstering the main plot, or major point, in their respective works. They also differ in the way in which they build support, or agreement for their opinion. They implicitly drive the reader or viewer to agree with their opinion not merely through repetition, but also through a series of well-constructed points that expand, emphasize, and support the main point, or the theme. These are developed throughout the movie, television show, and books just as the points are developed in an essay. The themes stem from the plot, and hold the plot together. The general theme, at times, ties together the separated points as the central theme binds the distinct sub-plots of How to Make an American Quilt, 7th Heaven, and 101 Dalmatians. In 101 Dalmatians, the general theme is family togetherness. The general theme of How to Make an American Quilt is the quilt and the pieces of life. 7th Heaven’s theme is disapproval of different situations, mainly Mrs. Camden’s disapproval of her father re-marrying. The prevailing theme of A River Runs Through It is the river and its "natural flow" of life. These examples, seen through the four works, show the author’s use of expansion, emphasis, and support through the use of a theme which can indicate the writer’s own opinion.

The author can write to indicate his/her personal opinions through the approval or disapproval of the plot and the theme. Authors expand, emphasize, and support the point (theme) of the work through the implication of their opinion. Otto seeks to expand her theme of the quilt with the addition of chapters that introduce new quilting instructions and chapters that contain new characters or stories. She seems to show disapproval of various actions taken by the characters by emphasizing other characters’ negative feelings toward that action or that character. For example, Otto seems to disapprove of Hy’s affair with Arthur by allowing the reader to see the full extent of Glady Joe’s anger, and the creation of the wall, a memorial to Glady Joe’s hurt heart.

Otto also allows the reader to see Hy's pretense to her sick husband in the hospital, pretending nothing had happened, and Anna’s dislike for Hy. Maclean supports his story of Paul through examples from Paul's life such as Paul's stubborn refusal to eat oatmeal while still emphasizing certain aspects of Paul's nature through his actions. It is obvious that Maclean approves of Paul and that Paul can do no wrong in his family’s eyes, especially his mother’s. The reader can only infer that Paul is involved in wrong things for Maclean and his family excuse, ignore, or downplay the incidents. 101 Dalmatians expands the theme of family unity by enlarging the dalmatian family and bring the human family and dalmatian family together through the kidnapping crisis. Pongo and Purdy return with eighty three more puppies, and the couple gladly welcomes the addition to the family. 7th Heaven emphasizes its theme of disapproval by filling the episode with various characters and their lack of approval for actions. It also emphasizes the re-marriage by continually reverting to that issue. Mainly, Mrs. Camden disapproves of her father’s re-marriage, yet the grandfather makes the decision to marry despite widespread resistance against it.

In my own writing, I need to work on the introduction of my papers. A point, or a main theme, needs to be introduced so that the paper has direction. This correlates to the four works as they each introduce the plot and the theme in the prologues, introductions, and previews. The plot not only directs the story line, but also implies the theme. Emphasis, expansion, and support are utilized to make the major point. The writers use at least one of these three tools to develop the theme. Therefore, emphasis, expansion, and support are vital tools that the four works employ, and that I should personally implement in my own writing.
Return to 123HelpMe.com