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Angelou surprises her reader by relating her thoughts during the course of the graduation ceremony. She explains how the white politician takes the stage and insults the students by implying that the only jobs for which blacks are suited is manual labor and sports. The most jarring moment for the reader occurs at the end of the essay when Angelou describes the class singing the Negro National Anthem as a form of protest.
2. The ancient tragedy Angelou is describing is the tragedy of the slave being sold on the dais during the time of slavery in America. Angelou depicts the disgrace of this event. Professor Parsons is on the stage, but just like the slave being sold at auction, “his eyes said he was no longer with us.” He is detaching himself from the situation just as his ancestors did. Angelou changes the tragedy by relieving the disgrace at the end of the ceremony. Instead of ending in tragedy as the sale of a slave does, the graduation ceremony ends with a note of hope. As Angelou states, “we were on top again.”
3. Like Angelou, I was involved in an event in school that I greatly anticipated. I was very active in the drama club in high school. We would always put on three plays a year, and each one was a production that took a tremendous amount of effort to create. The technical crew would spend hours after school making sure that the sound and lighting was perfectly timed. The art classes at school would help paint the sets, and various students would build different sets using the tools from the woodworking class. The mothers of all the drama club students would stitch the costumes. I was always a part of the cast, in minor roles and major roles.
One year, we chose a particularly difficult production, Alice in Wonderland. The costumes were very elaborate and took months to create. Because of the psychedelic nature of the play, the sets required bright colors and
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