Comparing two works in literature

Essay by lilmissy48891A+, December 2003

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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 County

Training School distinguished itself by having

neither lawn nor hedges, nor tennis court, nor

climbing ivy. Its two buildings (main classrooms,

the grade school, and home economics) were set

on a...