Inocence And Experience. Essay

1878 words - 8 pages

This paper compares three literary selections that are connected in some way through genre for LIT 225. The three selections are: Graduation by Angelou, Maya. Araby by Joyce, James and One Friday Morning by Hughes, LangstonIntroductionI will be discussing innocence and experience and how this relates to literature. I will be reviewing three separate stories, Graduation written by Maya Angelou, Araby written by James Joyce, and One Friday Morning written by Langston Hughes. I will be discussing the setting of the stories, period in which the piece was written, and the characters personality and perception in the stories. I will be comparing how each story represents Innocence and Experience.GraduationMaya Angelou is remembering back to her high school graduation. She recalls the wonder she felt on that day. The way that old tradition had carried through over the years. This story takes place in 1941, in a small black community in Stamps, Arkansas. An all black school Lafayette County Training School was by no means as fortunate as the nearby all white schools. It had neither trees nor shrubs; it simply had two buildings on a hill. The local people of the town were not wealthy or educated as the nearby white towns or school. However this community was proud of its children and their accomplishments of graduating. Big ceremonies were planned each year for the graduating classes. The lower grade classes were in charge of helping with the festivities. The lower grade girls were in charge of preparing the refreshments; the small children were putting together a small play. The white man from a nearby town came to speak at the graduation ceremony. This is when the tone of the story changes. Because of this being written in the 1940's racism and segregation is an active practice. The speaker does not give motivation to the graduating black students, as he would have for the white graduates. Instead he crushes their dreams and reminds them of their place in society. After the speaker quickly finishes his speech and leaves to catch his train, the speaker of the story is crushed. However after she actually listens to the valedictorian give his speech she is reminded of the accomplishments that she has worked for so long.This story is a wonderful example of these experiences in our lives affects us in later years. All of us remember these moments so clearly in our later years, the sense of accomplishment, new adventures that face us in the world.In the short essay extracted from the novel "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." written in 1970 by Maya Angelou, Angelou writes about times in her childhood. This story is a wonderful example of when she graduated in 1940. She uses great symbolism. For example she states that the "graduating classes are nobility," showing that they have earned the respect of the younger classmates. She also writes about the graduating class and their "exotic destinations." This piece is a wonderful example of innocence and experience...

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