Critical Analysis of "Graduation"

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Critical Analysis of "graduation"
Summary: "Graduation" is an excerpt of the autobiographical book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, written by Maya Angelou. While the book is autobiographical in nature, this particular excerpt is much discussed amongst literary circles because of Angelou's use of both objective and subjective narration. [pic]

"Graduation" is an excerpt of the autobiographical book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, written by Maya Angelou. While the book is autobiographical in nature, this particular excerpt is much discussed amongst literary circles because of Angelou's use of both objective and subjective narration. Objective narration describes the culture of Angelou's local community, Stamps Arkansas. The passage depicts the entire community of Stamps preparing for, and experiencing, graduation ceremonies at the local black schools. Children are described as trembling "with visible anticipation" and the teachers have now become "respectful of the now quiet and aging seniors." Wealthy families will buy new, custom made garments and poor families will pick out their best and ensure that the clothes are freshly scrubbed and pressed. The passage is then intertwined with the use of subjective narration. Angelou uses the subjective form to describe her place within the Stamps community. She will be special as compared to the rest of the graduating class. While the class "was wearing butter-yellow pique dresses," her "Momma launched out on" her dress by "smok[ing] the yolk into tiny crisscrossing puckers,... shirr[ing] the rest of the bodice, ...[and adding] a crochet cuff on puff on the sleeves, and a pointy crocheted color." Moreover, she will be graduating at nearly the top of the class. By using the subjective form, Angelou has separated herself out from the community as a whole and described her position within the community. In terms of economic class, it can be concluded that she and her family are a bit wealthier then others because they...
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