Analysis Of The Poem ' Graduation ' By Maya Angelou Essay

1182 Words Oct 26th, 2015 5 Pages
In the essay “Graduation,” Maya Angelou narrates her 1940, eighth grade graduation from the persona of her younger self, Marguerite Johnson, illustrating the impact of racism towards African-Americans in society. Angelou provides readers at large, the depiction of her own graduation, as well as educational and societal issues through the use of juxtaposition, imagery and various rhetorical questions. In doing so, Angelou is able to convey her younger self’s developing epiphany in the essay.
Initially, Angelou juxtaposes the schools of the white and African-American people to depict the harsh reality of education and society, as well as display the initial development of Angelou’s epiphanic views. Foremost, at the beginning of this essay, it is evident that Angelou implies the subordination and racial discrimination of the African-American race. She underscores the inferiority of the “negro” school by expressing that “unlike the white high school,” they distinguished themselves by “having neither lawn, nor hedges, nor tennis courts.” By defining Lafayette County Training School by what it lacks, Angelou indicates a feeling of desire for change and convey the subordination of the African-American people to the privileging whites. This overall comparison conveys a melancholic mood as she subsequently explains that the buildings of the white school had “no fence to limit its boundaries,” referencing to the African-Americans’ rights of freedom. Angelou depicts the lack of their…

Related Documents