Maya Angelou’s “The Graduation” is a powerful poem about the experience of black people in America. It addresses the issue of racism and discrimination faced by African Americans, and highlights the strength and resilience of the black community. The poem is an inspiration to all who have faced adversity, and a reminder that we can overcome anything if we stand together.
As Maya Angelou and other children attending grammar school know, graduation is an essential time in everyone’s life. It signals a move to something bigger and better, where you can put your knowledge to use to reach your dreams.
She was one of the few African American students in her class. Despite the racism she and other black people faced, Maya Angelou was determined to graduate and make something of herself.
Maya Angelou’s “The Graduation” is a story about overcoming adversity and succeeding against all odds. Maya Angelou was raised in the racially segregated South during the 1930s and 1940s. She experienced firsthand the racism that black people faced on a daily basis. But she didn’t let that stop her from achieving her goals.
In “The Graduation,” Maya Angelou tells the story of her graduation from eighth grade. She describes how excited she and her classmates were to be moving on to high school. But she also describes the racism that they faced from their white classmates and teachers.
Despite the odds, Maya Angelou graduated from high school and went on to have a successful career as a writer, poet, and civil rights activist. She is an inspiration to all who face adversity in their lives. Her story is one of hope and determination. No matter what obstacles you face in life, remember that anything is possible if you set your mind to it. Just like Maya Angelou.
The story Graduation has ethos from Lili’s perspective because, like everyone else standing on the stage or in the auditorium when Mr. Edward Donleavy casually denigrated everything the pupils had worked so hard to accomplish, she shared the same sentiments and feelings as Lili did.
Angelou’s use of first person also aids in creating pathos as the reader experiences what she went through.
Being one of the only black students in her class, and with a father who was not around, Angelou had to fend for herself a lot. She had to deal with things that other kids didn’t have to, like having enough money for food or getting good grades so she could graduate. Even though she was one of the valedictorians, she still didn’t feel like she deserved it because she was “just a Negro.” Mr. Donleavy’s words just made her feel even worse about herself.
The way Angelou responds to Mr. Donleavy’s racism shows her character to be intelligent and strong. She does not let his words get to her and instead uses them as motivation to prove him wrong. When she gives her graduation speech, she shows everyone that she is just as good as they are, if not better.
Angelou’s story is a great example of how someone can overcome racism and achieve success. It is inspiring and shows that no matter what people say or do, you can still reach your goals.
This is the story of a woman who has overcome every obstacle in her life to reach this day, and through her narrative, learned, and personal figurative, and descriptive writing, she has been able to pass on both the ill feelings and warm sentiments from Mr. Donleavy’s speech to that of Henry Reed.
Mr. Donleavy’s speech is one that degrades the black people, and African Americans especially. He talks about how they are not to be trusted and how they are nothing more than animals. Henry Reed, on the other hand, speaks kindly of the black people and states how they have made many advances in their fight for equality. Through her writing, Maya Angelou was able to show both the good and bad sides of that day, which helped give readers a more clear understanding of what it was like to be a black person during that time period.
Angelou excels at evoking emotions and empathy in her readers. She emphasizes her sense of being wronged by relating to them and broadcasting her feelings for everyone to see. When she’s talking about the people around her getting excited and nervous, she’s describing what it’s like when you’re about to graduate.
It is a time of both great hope and great fear. We all want to succeed, but we are also afraid of what lies ahead.
She also does an excellent job of capturing the racism that was prevalent in America at the time. She talks about how the black people in her town were treated like second-class citizens. They were not given the same opportunities as white people, and they were constantly reminded of their place in society. This is something that many people can relate to, even if they have not experienced it themselves. Racism is still a problem today, and Angelou’s words ring just as true now as they did then.
“The youngsters in Stamps shook visibly with eagerness…The entire young population had fallen sick with the graduation fever.” (22). This is how the story begins. What comes to mind as soon as you hear it? The word “graduation.” Your own graduation, whether it occurred in the past or will take place in the future. This helps her establish a link with her audience from the start, before they know anything about the tale’s backdrop or who she is.
It also gives the reader a sense of what the story will be about. Angelou then goes on to describe her town and how poor it was. She states, “There were no paved sidewalks, no city hall, no library, no churches with steeples” (22). This quote is important because it helps set the scene for the reader and allows them to better understand the setting in which Angelou grew up. It also paints a picture of just how poor her town was.
She continues by describing her family and their living conditions. She writes, “We lived in one room…my brother Bailey and I slept in homemade beds…Momma had built us a bookcase out of orange crates…” (22). This quote is important because it provides more insight into Angelou’s childhood and her family’s poverty. It also helps the reader understand the type of family she came from and how they interacted with each other.
In the next few paragraphs, Angelou goes on to describe her graduation day. She writes about how excited she was and how she felt like a princess. She states, “I wanted to wear my new dress and shoes…I wanted everyone in town to see me…I would be the only eighth grader graduating in a real high school graduation ceremony” (22-23). This quote is important because it shows how proud she was of her accomplishment. It also helps the reader understand how significant this event was for her.
After graduation, Angelou’s family throws her a party. However, she is quickly brought back down to reality when her father tells her that she can’t go to high school in San Francisco like she had planned. He tells her that she has to stay in Stamps and help take care of her younger brother.