In Spelman’s novel, Repair various types of repair are described such as restoration of vehicles and furniture, invisible mending of paintings, and even the repair of relationships. These different types of repair were each undermined through examples of people that performed each type of repair. The author effectively sets up the stereotypical roles of men and women in Chapter 2 by describing Willie, a blue-collar mechanic who defines what a man’s role with repair is known as. Willie is described as the quintessential repairman in chapter 2 since he is a white male that makes up the working class. Willie is a bricoleur repairs automobiles using cheap parts and scraps to repair bikes and cars for merely functionality. On the other hand, Fred is described as someone who also repairs bikes and cars but cares more about the authentic production of the parts rather than using cheap parts for functionality. Fred restores bikes by paying more for original parts to recreate the original model. The other repairers described in this passage are Louise Wijnberg, Elisabeth Bracht, and Irene Glanzar. Louise, Eilisabeth, and Irene are conservators that keep their invisible mending to a minimum so the original work is highlighted. Since these comparisons between forms of repair were discussed for a full chapter these forms of a repair became a focal point.
Chapter three then brings up an interesting point about the complexities of repair.
Repairing a hip so that someone can walk again might under some conditions get in the way of repair it so the person can run. When, then, we think about the work of the household as including the repair of humans from the wear and tear of everyday life, where repairing means restoring them to some kind of functional state, we surely ought to ask whether repairing them to be able to function in others.
This insightful description of a hip repair that compromises one’s full health by mending the person’s injured hip so they may walk again but, also jeopardizes their ability to ever run in the future. This is similar to compromises made when mending a broken relationship. Restoring an issue within a relationship is the aim in most situations as both members of the relationship hope their relationship can return to it’s original, functional state. However, in many situations there is mutual agreement that one’s relationship can never be successful again so, they simply repair their broken relationship so their is no longer hostility between the two people. Both forms of repair in a relationship can be successful depending on the relationship. In some situations, restoring a relationship is not beneficial if continuous arguments will arise. An example of successful repair in a relationship would be a couple that breaks up and becomes friends for the benefit of both parties. This way both people realize the relationship will not work out so instead of throwing away their relationship they repair their relationship by remaining friends. This quote was very insightful and allowed me to understand that sometimes no repair, is the best form of repair. Some situations or some building do not need to be fixed.
This idea of no repair became more apparent in the sixth chapter. This chapter describes a lot about ruins and discussions on whether these ruins should be repaired. John Ruskin is a catalyst of this no repair movement as he believes that to restore is to destroy. Many Ruinists believe there is no need for any repair because,
The building or the city is even more beautiful in its ruined state than it ever was when in prime or peak condition, that “in this half-ruined grandeur” there is “a magnificence nobler than its original form,”.
The book forced me to reflect on each type of repair and think about the best form. Since repair varies there is no set best form of repair but there are types of repair that are the most appropriate for certain situations. For instance, many African Americans do not want to hear an insincere apology about the wrongdoings during times of slavery. In this case reparations are the best form of repair. Whites should not attempt to apologize to Blacks but instead should prove their regret and sympathy by making reparations for slavery, educational programs, and create equal opportunities that will ensure the social and economic success of all citizens. Oppositely, your friend is not asking for your money if you hurt their feelings (even though they would most likely accept it anyway) but would be acceptive of a sincere apology. I now realize how complex repair really is and I now know that repair varies for the individual and the situation.