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A Quilt of a Country Discussion Questions

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

'A Quilt of a Country' by Anna Quindlen is an editorial written for 'Newsweek' magazine following the September 11 attacks on America. This asset provides discussion questions about this work.

'A Quilt of a Country'

Anna Quindlen's 'A Quilt of a Country' is a commentary by a Pulitzer Prize winning author that uses the metaphor of a quilt to celebrate the diversity of America during the time of great national pride following the terrorist attacks on America that took place on September 11, 2001. The following questions may be used to lead a classroom discussion about this essay.

American Values

  • Why do you think the author calls America 'an improbable idea'? Do you agree with this description? How is the United States of America different from every other country on Earth?
  • How is America like a quilt? What are some other metaphors that could be used to describe America?
  • What are some of the challenges America has faced because it is 'pluralistic'? How have we risen above some of these challenges? What are some challenges we continue to face?
  • What do you think Mario Cuomo meant when he characterized the United States as 'community added to individualism'? What do you think are the defining traits of America? What are some ways American values appear contradictory? How do you reconcile these contradictory values in your life?
  • Why is it important to maintain family customs and traditions that reflect heritage? What are some traditions your family practices? Why is it sometimes difficult for people from different backgrounds to come together? What can you do to bring people together?

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