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Graduation Poem Maya Angelou

Graduation is an important milestone in everyone’s life. It marks the end of one phase of our lives and the beginning of another. Graduation is a time to celebrate our accomplishments and look forward to the future.

Maya Angelou’s “Graduation” is a poem that celebrates the accomplishments of Graduates. The poem highlights the importance of Graduation and how it can be a time to reflect on our past, present, and future.

“Graduation” is a powerful poem that speaks to the importance of Graduation in our lives. Maya Angelou’s words are inspiring and remind us that Graduation is a time to celebrate our achievements and look forward to the future with hope.

Maya Angelou’s poem “Graduation,” written in 1967, portrays the growth of a young woman named Marguerite Johnson during her eighth-grade graduation. She is not only graduating from eighth grade, but she is also passing from childhood to adulthood.

Angelou uses a number of literary devices to convey the speaker’s journey, including metaphors, similes, and Personification.

The speaker begins by looking back on her life up to this point. She has gone through “eight years trying to be a girl” (Angelou, 1). She has been taught how to be a lady, how to behave in public, and how to suppress her natural tendencies. She has been told that she needs to be quiet and not speak out. Graduation is a turning point for her because it marks the end of her childhood.

The next section of the poem focuses on the present day of graduation. The speaker is surrounded by her classmates who are also graduating. They are all wearing similar clothes and have similar diplomas. The speaker notes that they are all equal in this moment, despite their differences.

The final section of the poem looks to the future. The speaker is no longer a child, but she is not yet an adult. She is still learning and growing. Graduation is a stepping stone on her journey to adulthood.

Maya Angelou’s “Graduation” is a coming-of-age story that explores the speaker’s journey from innocence to adulthood. Through the use of literary devices, Angelou conveys the speaker’s emotions and experiences as she navigates this transition.

Angelou employs similes, colors, and juxtaposition in her narrative essay to convey the racial divide between blacks and whites through words. Angelou uses metaphors throughout her narrative to illustrate her emotional fluctuation between optimism and disappointment.

For example, when Angelou is waiting to hear her name called during the ceremony, she compares herself to “a lonely sea-gull lost from the flock” (Angelou, Graduation 4). By doing this, Angelou not only shows how anxious she is, but also how alone she feels as the one Negro student in a sea of whites. This simile also introduces the second major theme in Graduation: isolation.

In addition to using similes, Angelou employs colors to contrast the differences between the Negroes and whites. For instance, when she is describing the white students’ dresses, she notes that they are “starched and ironed to perfection” while the Negroes’ clothes are “wrinkled and ill-fitting” (Angelou, Graduation 3). By pointing out this contrast, Angelou highlights the disparity in treatment and expectations between the two groups.

Finally, Angelou employs juxtaposition to further emphasize the differences between the Negroes and whites. She does this by comparing the white students’ graduation ceremony with the Negroes’ ceremony. She notes that the white students had “pomp and circumstance” while the Negroes’ ceremony was “a dull and meaningless affair” (Angelou, Graduation 4). This contrast emphasizes how little value is placed on the education of Negroes compared to whites.

Through the use of similes, colors, and juxtaposition, Angelou highlights the racial inequality between the Negroes and whites in Graduation. By doing so, she demonstrates her emotional transition from hope to disappointment.

She starts her essay with descriptions of the white and black schools. The black school had “neither lawn, nor hedges, nor tennis courts, nor climbing ivy,” which suggests the white school had all of those things.

Also, the white school was “a stately building with a broad lawn and tall trees which cast a cooling shade over the assembly of its students.” The author then goes on to describe how the white girls would giggle and whisper while they watched the black children play. It seems as if the white girls felt superior to the black children because they had better resources and facilities. The black children were aware of this difference and felt inferior to the white children because of it. This is likely why the author describes how “we knew we were not pretty like them.”

Eventually, Graduation day arrived for the black students. The author describes how everyone was excited, including the parents who came to see their child receive a diploma. The white students and faculty looked on as the black students walked across the stage to receive their diplomas. The author describes how “the girls in white dresses and boys in dark suits filed past us to take their places” on the stage. It is clear that the black students felt out of place and uncomfortable being surrounded by white people.

However, despite feeling inferior to the white students, the author describes how she “felt a stirring and a shaking inside me, and secretly, smugly, I was thrilled because I knew something they didn’t. I knew that Mr. Edward Donleavy, our principal, had been instructed to call my name last.” In other words, she felt proud and accomplished despite the fact that she was not treated the same as the white students. She knew that she had worked just as hard as them and had achieved the same goal, even though it may have been harder for her to do so.

The author then describes how her name being called last made her feel like she was “the victor standing on the winners’ stand at the Olympics.” She felt proud of herself and her accomplishment, despite the fact that she was not treated equally to the other students. This is an important lesson for everyone, regardless of race or ethnicity. We should all be proud of our accomplishments, despite the obstacles we may have faced. Graduating from school is a huge accomplishment and no one can take that away from you.

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