Graduation Day By Maya Angelou Analysis

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The Value of Education Americans in the nineteen-forties valued education in a different way than we do today. Graduating from the eighth-grade was consider the completion of public schooling for many Americans. In the memoir “Graduation Day,” by Maya Angelou, she describes the events and excitement leading up to, and including her eighth-grade graduation ceremony. Through the events that took place at her graduation, the way Angelou viewed her education transformed in a profound way. The value Angelou placed on her education evolved throughout the events of her graduation. Angelou’s community rally around her and uplifts her value of education. An example of Angelou’s community supporting her in her educational ventures is displayed by the patrons of Angelou’s grandmother’s store. The customers would give her money “… with the instruction ‘keep on moving to higher ground.’”(Angelou, p.183, 19--) The patrons of the store saw the value in continuing in her continuing her education as a way to achieve a better way of life than they live. This encouragement strengthens her resolve. Another example of Angelou’s community bolstering the value she places on education is evident when she receives “… a soft-leather-bound copy of a collection of poems by Edgar Allan Poe...,” from her older brother. This gift shows how much her brother recognizes her scholastic achievements and supports her love of education. Angelou’s community came together and rallied around her reinforcing her value of education. The value Angelou places on her education diminishes when she considers Donleavy’s speech and the way she values education and therefore, how she sees her self-worth. Donleavy’s speech weakens Angelou’s value of education is when she hears o... ... middle of paper ... ...ces on education develops. Angelou’s community plays a instrumental role in the way that she values her education. Her community and family recognize her accomplishments in school and bolster her view of education by giving her gifts of money, handcrafted items, as well as a book of poetry. As Angelou pondered Donleavy’s speech her value of education weakens along with her self-worth. Donleavy conveys that the only mentionable people that have come from her school where male athletes. Finally, Angelou’s perception of her education changes once again as she listens to Hennery Reed’s speech and the ensuing rendition of the Negro National anthem. Her spirits and the value she places on education are lifted higher than before her graduation ceremony. Therefore, through the trials of her graduation, the value Angelou assigns to her education is raised to a greater level.

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