Essay about "The First Day" Analysis

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Pages: 4

“The First Day” by Edward P. Jones
It’s only natural to keep vivid memories of certain monumental moments in life, such as the first day of school, for a long time. “The First Day” by Edward P. Jones tells the story of a mother and daughter on the daughter’s first day of school. In the beginning of the story, the mother goes to great lengths to prepare her daughter for this important occasion. After the preparation is over, she takes her daughter to a particular school before being told that she is in the wrong school district. They are directed to the correct school and that is where the daughter is registered to attend. However, the mother is not able to fill out the registration form because she cannot read or write. Along with love,
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(Jones) The use of this beginning suggests that the daughter is proud of her mother and wants to make her known to the readers. Jones pairs pride and shame with each other in the story even though they are not normally corresponding feelings. In the end of the story, Jones makes numerous mentions that the girl can hear her mother’s footsteps as she walks away, leaving her at the school: “Her shoes make loud sounds in the hall,” “I can still hear the sounds of her shoes,” “I can still hear my mother’s footsteps above it all.” (Jones) The author stresses this idea to signify pride in her mother – to let the readers know that part of her mother still remained with her even after she was left in the classroom. Along with the pride that is shown in the last part of the story, Jones also uses detail that suggests she is ashamed of her mother. Right as her mother goes to turn away from her, the daughter recalls that she can see where her mother darned one of her socks. This is placed in the story to imply that she is ashamed of her mother’s financial state. Jones situates these two powerful feelings close together to propose that they run parallel. By the accurate use of imagery, word connotations, and irony, writers can make two feelings seem very similar even though they are far from the same. Jones utilizes this in his story and suggests that when there is a strong love