Graduation by Mya Angelou

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 100
  • Published : October 17, 2005
Open Document
Text Preview
Maya Angelou's The Graduation
Throughout life graduation, or the next level of growth, is sometimes known with the circumstance of the grand ceremony, but many times the graduation is not as exciting. In the moving essay, "The Graduation," by Maya Angelou applies three strategies - an expressive voice, illustrative comparison and contrast, and flowing sentences with imagery - to see the truth about humans caught in the line of racial discrimination.

In a great voice, Ms. Angelou pictures a small black community waiting graduation day fifty-five years ago. She describes the children, "visibly with anticipation", and the teachers being, "respectful of the now quiet and aging seniors." Although it is right that her voice in the first six paragraphs described how they, the black children in stamps, felt and acted before the mood of the voice changes to a knowing or seeming to know everything narrator in the seventh paragraph. Her expressing voice carefully built the tension as she demonstrates prejudice qualities.

The same voice introduces Ms. Angelou's strategy of comparison and contrast. By comparing what the black schools don't have, such as lawns, hedges, or tennis courts reveal not only a clear picture of what high class the white schools in the forties had but how the system was messed up. The adults at the graduation focus on the differences that were never talked about. The black principal's voice fades as he describes "the friendship of kindly people to those less fortunate then themselves" and the white graduation speaker implies that" the white kids would have a chance to become Galileo's.... and our boys would try to be Jesse Owenes, "the author's emotions vary from the first public saying that "I was the person of the moment" to the agonizing thoughts that it "was awful to be a Negro and have no control over my life" to the moment of sudden realization.

Ms. Angelou's strategy of comparison and contrast serves as much as...
tracking img