17 October 2013
Summary Response of Maya Angelou’s “The Graduation”
In the essay “The Graduation” (McGraw-Hill 2003), Maya Angelou tells the story of life in 1940s Stamps, Arkansas. She explains how it feels to be discriminated and thought of as less than equal. Angelou shows that with a strong will to overcome, it is more than possible to set aside disgusting racism and impersonal discrimination. Angelou delivers a very detailed, inspirational, and informative story of self-acceptance. Summary
“The Graduation” is an inspirational tale of Maya Angelou’s eighth grade graduation. She uses very powerful descriptive words to explain her surroundings, for example, Unlike the white high school, Lafayette County Training School distinguished itself by having neither lawn, nor hedges, nor tennis court, nor climbing ivy. Its two buildings (main classroom, the grade school and home economics) were set on a dirt hill with no fence to limit either its boundaries or those of bordering farms. There was a large expanse to the left of the school which was used alternately as a baseball court. (Angelou 1) Angelou describes the extreme differences from the white school and hers. At this point in the story, Angelou is growing more and more excited about her graduation, along with her family and friends. The town was extremely supportive of the eighth grade classes’ graduation. All was seemingly well until Mr. Donleavy walked onto the stage and began to undermine the intelligence and high intellectual capacity of the entire school. He continued to imply that only the white school was worthy of new science equipment, and only highlights their athletic ability. Angelou began to ponder her existence. Her thoughts were dark and drab, until Henry Reed began to sing. He delivered his speech with power and confidence, and Angelou’s faith and self-image was restored. Response Paragraph One
Angelou explains that inequality that existed in...
Cited: Angelou, Maya. “The Graduation.” 75Thematic Readings. McGraw-Hill. 2003. Web.32 Sept.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document