The First Day is a short story by Edward P. Jones. It is about a young girl’s first day of school. The story begins with the girl waking up on her first day of school. She is nervous and excited about what the day will bring. She gets dressed and heads to school, where she meets her teacher.
The teacher is kind and welcoming, and the girl soon feels at ease. The day goes by quickly and before she knows it, it is time to go home. The girl is happy with how her first day went, and she can’t wait to go back tomorrow.
Things aren’t always going well for a family of three young girls and their mother who live in suburban Washington, D. C. Their father has left them, and their mother can’t read or write, yet she fights the norm when she sends her eldest daughter to school so that she might get an education that was denied to her. In “The First Day,” Edward P. Jones employs vivid language, symbols, and a theme emphasizing how uneducated people appreciate learning more than educated people to demonstrate that the girls and their mother are doing all they can.
Although their mother can’t read or write, she knows the value of education and wants her daughters to have the opportunities that she never did. When the eldest daughter, Ann, is old enough to go to school, their mother makes sure that she walks her there on her first day.
“Them white folks don’t want yall over here, but I told em we ain’ gonna take no mess off a them. So you just walk in there like you own the place. You hear me?… Let em know you just as good as anybody else in there. You understand what I’m saying girl? Now you go on in there and learn you something” (Jones 3).
Despite the obstacles that Ann faces as one of the only black students in her class, she listens to her mother and does her best. Ann’s experience in school shows that uneducated people often value education more than educated people, who may take their education for granted. The mother’s determination to give her daughters a chance at a better life is evident throughout the story, and Jones uses literary devices to bring this theme to life.
The First Day is a moving story about a family trying to overcome difficult circumstances. The characters are vividly portrayed and their struggles are realistically depicted. This story provides insight into the importance of education and the challenges that uneducated people face every day.
The narrator, the oldest girl in the narrative, has flashbacks to events she had as a kid and comprehends them as an adult, which is why vivid imagery is used frequently throughout the story. The rich descriptions of her environment begin in the first paragraph when she says that her scalp tingles because her hair has been braided so many times, and that she can detect a faint fragrance of “Dixie Peach hair grease,” which holds some sentimentality for her since it reminds her of home.
It is this type of imagery that allows readers to feel as if they are in the story, and it becomes easier for them to connect with the characters on a deeper level. As the story progresses, we learn more about the protagonist and her family dynamic. We see that she is extremely close with her sisters, which is evident when she has to share a bed with them growing up. Even though they were constantly squabbling, she still cherished their bond and would do anything for them. Her relationship with her parents was a little more complicated.
She was always trying to please her father, but no matter how hard she tried, it never seemed to be good enough. On the other hand, she had a very special bond with her mother, which is made clear when her mother dies. The narrator admits that she was never able to tell her how much she loved her while she was alive, but at her deathbed, the protagonist finally confesses and promises to always remember her.
One of the most important aspects of the story is the theme of family. The narrator talks about how each member of her family is flawed in their own way, but they all come together to form a strong unit. Even though they went through tough times, they were always there for one another when it mattered the most. This is highlighted in the end of the story when the protagonist’s father dies. The sisters are all there for each other, supporting one another through their grief.
Overall, the story is about the power of family and how they can help you get through anything. The protagonist goes through a lot of trials and tribulations in her life, but she always has her family there to help her get through it. They are her backbone and she would be lost without them.
The narrator’s first day of school begins with “a swelling scent that gently tickles her nostrils,” which is a combination of pine and violet. Her mother anointed her with “the stingiest bit of her gardenia perfume,” which she applies to herself for the first time on this occasion.
This is significant because it evokes memories in both the narrator and her mother since the perfume was a present from her father, who “disappeared into memory,” leaving us to wonder whether he abandoned their family, which made their lives even more difficult but they still wear the fragrance and remember him by it. The author also employs symbols to express metaphors about how the narrator really felt about her experiences.
For example, when she is on the bus, looking out the window, “the world was a great black thing rushing by.” This could possibly suggest that the narrator felt lost and scared during this time in her life, feeling as if she would never get out of the darkness. These feelings are later contrasted when she “looks down from classroom windows and sees herself moving among green things.”
The color green is often seen as a symbol of growth, life, and hope, which goes to show how much the narrator has changed since her first day of school. She has found friends, gotten good grades, and become more confident in herself. Edward P. Jones uses descriptive language, symbols, and metaphors to give readers a clear understanding of the narrator’s emotions and experiences during her first day of school.
The First Day by Edward P. Jones is a story about a young black girl who is starting her first day of school. The girl is nervous and scared, but she is also excited to start learning and meeting new people. The author uses descriptive language, symbols, and metaphors to give readers a clear understanding of the narrator’s emotions and experiences during her first day of school.
The story follows the girl as she goes through her day, from the bus ride to school to getting home at the end of the day. The girl makes new friends, gets good grades, and learns a lot about herself and the world around her.