The First Day Edward P Jones Analysis

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“The First Day” by Edward P. Jones is a short story written in 1992. The short story is about an African American mother taking her young daughter to school for the first time. The daughter becomes ashamed of her mother because she sees where her education level is at. The mother is also ashamed of herself because she didn’t get education throughout her life. In “The First Day” the opening scene sets the tone for challenging the status quo and creating a life of success. Jones’ short story challenges the status quo in multiple ways. The status quo during this era was African American education. Throughout the short story we learn the mother did not get an education, for example: the mother says “I can’t read it. I don’t know how to read or…show more content…
The mother wants to create this for her daughter because she doesn’t want her daughter to grow up and be ashamed of herself like her mother is ashamed of herself. We see that her mother wants this for her daughter throughout the story, one example of this is when Jones’ says “My mother is convinced and for several more minutes she questions the woman about why I cannot attend Seaton.” (Jones,86) The mother wants her daughter to have a successful life and wants her to go to this really good school that is close to their church, somewhere where the mother feels safe with leaving her child. The lady there refuses them stating they live too far away. This puts stress on the mother and shows how much the mother wants a great education for her daughter and what she will do to try and get it. We learn throughout “The First Day” that the mother is very ashamed of herself. “My mother looks at me, then looks away. I know almost all of her looks, but this one is brand new to me.” (Jones, 87) The mother was embarrassed, she couldn’t read or write and had to ask the lady to help her fill out the forms. The mother does not want this for her daughter, she doesn’t want her daughter to feel how she feels. The mother wanted to have an education, but it was not normal at the time for blacks to have an education. It was very rare when a black person
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