Rhetorical Analysis

Topics: Black people, Racism, Graduation Pages: 2 (515 words) Published: October 8, 2008
Life or graduation as the author describes it is advancement to the next distinct level of growth. Sometimes it can be sudden and many times a soft and natural process. In the autobiographical essay, "The Graduation," Maya Angelou applies three rhetorical strategies - an expressive voice, illustrative comparison and contrast, and flowing sentences full of imagery - to show personal growth of being caught in the adversity of racial discrimination.

In an expressive voice, Angelou paints a vivid picture of a little black community anticipating graduation day in your past. "Visibly with anticipation" She describes the children and the teachers as being "respectful of the now quiet and aging seniors." Even though it is autobiographical, an unforgettable voice in the first six paragraphs describes how "they", the black children in the town, felt and acted before the voice changes to a narration in the seventh paragraph. Her meaningful voice builds the tension as she demonstrates racism destroying the undeserved.

The same consistent, voice introduces Angelou's strategy of comparison and contrast. By comparing what the black schools don't have, such as 'lawn, nor hedges, nor tennis courts, nor climbing ivy,' reveals not only a clear illustration of what luxuries the white schools in the forties had but also how unjust the system was. The adults at the graduation focus on the differences that were previously left unspoken. This is a dummy paper. It was taken from an essay website. The black principal's voice fades as he describes "the friendship of kindly people to those less fortunate then themselves" and the white commencement 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 proclamation 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 epiphany:...
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