Graduation By Maya Angelou Analysis

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In “Graduation” from the Norton Reader, Maya Angelou tells the story of her eighth grade graduation. Although she consistently implies her want to continue education, the text is mostly directed towards her views on how African-Americans were treated in the early nineteen hundreds. Angelou explains graduation as such a sacred event and something supposed to be cherished and celebrated with family. When Angelou gets to her graduation, she is ecstatic. This feeling of exuberance gets shifted when two white men enter the stage. Angelou describes them as entitled and immodest. The man gives a speech bragging about how well the, “white school” (Angelou 16) is doing. As what seems like a consolation, the man also speaks to the group of colored students about how they will make excellent athletes. This leaves Angelou unsettled and angry towards the idea that people think of African-Americans in such a negative way. In this expressive essay that is developed by narration, Angelou effectively describes her own character development during her graduation and, effectively uses emotional appeal. “Graduation” is an expressive essay developed by narration. The rhetorical aim of expression became clear in the opening line: “The children in …show more content…
I can relate to Angelou even though it is on a much smaller scale. Growing up my Hispanic, low class family did not have much. I had joined a rock climbing club at age six. I was surrounded my middle class white people who made fun of my scholarship. I was consistently belittled for being darker and poorer than all my peers. I went home to my mother crying when I had had enough and all she responded with was, “no hay mal que por cien años dure mijita”. While getting to the end of “Graduation” I thought about how my own mother had restored my joy in being Hispanic. Just as Henry Reed restored Maya Angelou’s by singing the

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