Maya Angelou’s The Graduation
Throughout life we go through many stepping stones, Maya Angelou's autobiographical essay "Graduation", was about more than just moving on to another grade. The unexpected events that occurred during the ceremony enabled her to graduate from the views of a child to the more experienced and sometimes disenchanting views of an adult. Upon reading the story there is an initial feeling of excitement and hope which was quickly tarnished with the awareness of human prejudices. The author vividly illustrates many mood changes she undergoes throughout the story.
From the outset of the story there is an overwhelming sense of hope that has enveloped the entire community and school with the upcoming graduation. Everyone is preparing for the ceremony and seeking to see how it will affect the lives of those involved. "Only a small percentage would be continuing on to college" and others were just excited for the "glorious release" from school. She felt like she was on top of the world, after all, "the graduating classes themselves were the nobility." It is obvious how much pride she takes in her community by the way she describes her class as "an extended family." The author's school was not the most impressive school compared to the white schools in the area but that could not damper the spirit that was filling the air. Parents who were buying or making new outfits for their graduates made everyone including the author the center of attention. Her mother worked hard on hers, and she was swollen with pride that she was going to be a walking model of all the various styles of hand sewing. You could see her enchantment of this role in the way she describes the yellow dress down to the "crocheted cuff on the puff sleeves, and a pointy crocheted collar." It was such a special time for the community that even the preacher had prepared a special sermon for this moment.
Pride had also entered into her character as she explained her smiling...
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