Summary Of The First Day By Edward P Jones

997 Words4 Pages
Affairs are not always uncomplicated or effortless for a family of three young girls and their mother living in suburban Washington, D.C. Their father has walked out on them and their mother can’t read or write, therefore, the status quo is grim. The girls’ mother challenges the way that things have been going for them, and sends the eldest daughter to school to receive the education that she never got. In his short story, “The First Day,” Edward P. Jones uses literary techniques such as vivid imagery, symbols, and the theme that uneducated people value education more than educated people to show that the girls and their mother try their best. Vivid imagery is prevalent throughout the story in multiple instances, all as a result of the narrator,…show more content…
At the beginning, the daughter is leaving for her first day of school, saying that this happened before she “learned to be ashamed” of her mother, implying that she was taught to think that her mother isn’t intelligent. Later on, it is revealed that she becomes ashamed of her mother because she learns that her mother cannot read or write. But even so, her mother is insistent that she should go to Seaton Elementary School, which is across the street from Mt. Carmel, the church that the speaker has attended for “as many Sundays as [she] can remember, perhaps even Sundays when [she] was in [her mother’s] womb.” Seeing as the church harbors feelings of safety for their family, and even sustains the mother in her dark times, the mother wishes for her child to attend school there instead of anywhere else. Through her mother’s actions, it is revealed just how much she really cares about her daughter getting the education that she never did. Also, the speaker’s mother tells her “you gonna go there and learn about the whole world,” showing that she is excited for her to have a better life because she’ll go to school. According to the speaker, she learns that her mother doesn’t let people push her around very often, but the more respectable the person, the more likely her mother is to let them talk down to her. Then, she goes on to say that “teachers are rather high up in her eyes,” which points directly to her desire for education. Her mother commits an exceedingly large amount of respect to teachers because they give the gift of learning, which is a gift that she has never received, but so profoundly wishes she

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