Graduation by Maya Angelou and Salvation

Topics: Graduation, Academic dress, High school Pages: 3 (1058 words) Published: August 4, 2010
Young Expectations
Every mind is it’s a world. Each person sees and understands it in their own way. Experiences, environment, and people whom one interacts with play a big role in one’s life and attitude towards life. In each of the two stories “Graduation” by Maya Angelou and “Salvation” by Maya Angelou a very young person has assumptions from a particular experience that differ roughly from what adults in both stories expect. Feelings such as excitement, anticipation, and anxiousness can be found in both stories. However, when each author concludes the outcomes are different. In Graduation, for instance, Marguerite an African-American middle school studet, who was graduating top of her class, is very excited. Unfortunately Mr. Donley, a white guess speaker gives a rather discouraging speech, focusing on the success of black athletes and ignoring the academic potential of the graduating class. However, thanks to young Henry’s intervention, graduates rise up and recover from the sprit-crushing speech after singing the Negro National Anthem. Marguerite had been taught by her parents and the black community that graduation, regardless of what level, was a big transaction into adulthood. “Oh it was important alright” she would say (5). The narrator describes how at the time of her graduation “[She] was the person of the moment. The birthday girl. The center” (6). Although it was not a high school graduation for the narrator, the ceremony was taken very seriously. Maya Angelou, attempts to project a feeling of excitement encouraged by the graduates’ parents and the community as well. “Some adults were excited too” (1). “Even the minister preached on graduation the Sunday before” (17). Graduates were admired by the whole community for their academic success and, upon being respected, felt superior to younger non-graduating students. Kids would often be rewarded by their parents on such a significant date. Marguerite’s uncle and mom for...
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