Comparing Two Works In Literature Essay

1050 words - 4 pages

Comparison Paper("Everyday Use" and "Graduation in Stamps")Can you imagine being black and poor in the early 1970's? The stories, "Everyday Use," written by Alice Walker and "Graduation in Stamps," written by Maya Angelou are both centered on this setting. Walker's work, "Everyday Use," is an emotive story that tells of a mother with two daughters, who had lived a very arduous life. Her older daughter, Dee, resented her upbringing and couldn't wait to get away and live a more refined lifestyle. The younger daughter, Maggie, severely scarred in a house fire, was content to continue to live the way she had been raised...simple and plain. Angelou's work, "Graduation in Stamps," is a poignant story that tells of a young girl's maturing experience at her eighth grade graduation. A speaker diminished her accomplishments and made her feel humble. Alice Walker and Maya Angelou both used the devices: imagery, satire, and theme to create their stories.Imagery is the use of words to affect the reader's senses. An author uses these words to give you a picture of what is happening in the story. In my opinion, Walker and Angelou used this device in many places. For example, Walker used vivid imagery as she described Mama, " In real life, I am a large, big-boned woman with rough man-working hands"(Walker 57).Immediately, I envisioned Mama as a huge woman who worked hard all of her life. She labored for everything she possessed; there was nothing handed to her on a silver platter.Like Walker, Angelou also used imagery to describe the school,Unlike the white high school, Lafayette CountyTraining School distinguished itself by havingneither lawn nor hedges, nor tennis court, norclimbing ivy. Its two buildings (main classrooms,the grade school, and home economics) were seton a dirt hill with no fence to limit either itsboundaries or those of bordering farms (Angelou 687).I could consequentially visualize the school sitting in the middle of a field. Being a very poor community, the school seemed very sparse, lacking playground equipment and sports fields of any kind. It also didn't appear as though the school offered any sort of recreation or extracurricular activities.Another device that both authors used is satire. Satire is the use of criticism or wit to point out the faults of people, places, or things. Walker used this device to show what life was really like for Mama and Maggie. For example, " Some times Maggie reads to me. She stumbles along good-naturedly but can't see well. She knows that she is not bright. Like good looks and money, quickness passed her by" (Walker 58). Maggie is described in this quote as being ugly, poor, and dull-witted, but that hasn't blocked her from trying to excel in life.Angelou also used this device when the little girl was referring to how she felt after the speech was given at her graduation.We should all be dead. I thought I should liketo see us all dead, one on top of the other. Apyramid of flesh with the white folks on...

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