Analysis of the autobiography "Tapestry" by Maria Palotta-Chiarolli.

Essay by c_sparHigh School, 11th gradeA+, March 2003

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Tapestry, by Maria Palotta-Chiarolli, is a culture-rich and informative book. It was interesting and engaging, and the book's style allowed me to glimpse at the depth of Palotta-Chiarolli's strong beliefs. I was able delve into her and her family's personalities and experiences through the use of various discourses including feminism, racism and sexual freedom.

The book style is a clever and informative one. What once seemed annoying and confusing proved to be a great tool in finding the book's themes and discourses. Palotta-Chiarolli used her family's history like a 'tapestry', weaving the various threads together to make it whole and linked. This was very informative as it allowed me to compare the experiences of the Italian women on both sides of Palotta-Chiarolli's family. This proved to be a great aid by allowing an insight into how society's notions and beliefs such as feminism, racism and sex can change over the years.

She also wrote in third person, allowing an outsider's view of the family. This allowed her to go 'back in time' and let us experience what her family experienced. This style helped hold my attention, as I never knew where or when I was being taken to next. I become each of the characters, not just Maria. I know I would not have enjoyed or understood the book as much without it.

One of the prominent and most recurring discourses in Tapestry was one of feminism. I was positioned to agree with this discourse as the characters carrying out the feminist roles were portrayed as heroes. Palotta-Chiarolli used stories where the women were fighting against great odds and receiving punishments for their actions. In comparison with today's standards their treatment was barbaric so I chose the woman's side. Me being a young independent female also aided...