Prof. Jessica Penner | OL05 | Fall 2020

Formal Critique- ” The First day”

Creative Writing

Formal Critique

Reviewer’s Name:  Leviza Murtazayeva

Title of Piece: The First Day

Author’s Name: Edward P. Jones

Voice & Style

I enjoyed reading this short story, mostly because the style of it was very settle and intelligent, as if I was there listening to the narrator. The author did a good job of putting the words and details about every character’s movement and next action. This made the story more realistic and relatable to some people who reads the piece. The style and voice was very innocent and settle which made it easy to read.

Point of View

I enjoyed that the point of view of the author was writing from was from a narrator which is a young girl who was going to her first day of school. The point of view made the story more interesting since the little girl was basically had a new impression of her dear mother, which she has never seen before.


The author included a dialogue between the characters that occur in the story and between the thoughts the narrator and herself. This made the story more innocent and sad in some way since, the mother of narrator was unable to read or write but she was stubborn about her child’s education.


I enjoyed reading from the end to the beginning which, especially when a little girl, the narrator, realizes how much her mother is trying for her children. The moment was reminded when the girl realized how her mother wanted her to go the school and know about the whole world, says a lot about how strong her mother is and how much she wants for her child, especially when reader learns that the mother missed the education part of her life. It seems like she doesn’t want the same path for her kids, too.


Why would not a school from a different area take the girl to attend the school, and rather suggest a different one?

How did the girl picture her mother in her eyes, what did she learn about her?

How would the family be treated by the new school knowing that the family is uneducated?

Would her mother be interested in learning to read and write for her self, after all?


  1. Kiara Wright

    I agree with what you said in the Point Of View section because while i was reading it i noticed that it was being told from a child’s perspective of how she was getting reading for the first day of school, and how she explained what was going on through her surrounding’s and when her mom was being persistent in trying to get her into a school she got a new impression of her mother.

  2. Robert Rampersaud

    Good evening Leviza,
    I agree the short story was enjoyable to read. The author did a great job describing what the narrator saw threw out her first day of school. The description was too good for a kid going to elementary school to describe.

  3. nickay82

    Hello Leviza, I agree with you that the voice and style of the story was innocent and settle which made it easy to follow. I also agree how although the author was very descriptive, the story did not go off-topic and get confusing.

  4. Angelica Salazar

    Hi Leviza, i agree with you i thought it was also interesting that the author wrote the story from the perspective from a younger child. the age is pretty young i believe it was 5 years old. i also liked how the author was descriptive in the story.

  5. Maria Mateo

    I agree with you on your comments about the plot of the story. I think the author wants us to see how the mother of the little girl did everything for her to go to the best school and have the education she wasn’t able to have.

  6. Marina Malak

    Hi Leviza,
    I agree with you on that the story was more interesting because the girl ended up seeing a different part of her mother’s personality and emotions that she did not know before. The innocent point of view of the little girl made us all think what could the subtle hints in the story as the girl describes mean and made kind of wanted to tell the girl what it means myself .

  7. Angelica Hernandez

    Hi Leviza, I agree with you on your Voice and Style section, I also enjoyed how descriptive the author was with his words. You can develop full imagery with his descriptions.

  8. Saja Musa

    Leviza, great response. I too agree that the author’s style of writing made it easier to comprehend the story. Not only was the language use simple to understand, but the chronological order of events made it easier to keep up with the storyline. This in return helps the reader understand the plot and point of view.

  9. Parikshit Thapa

    Hi Leviza,
    I agree with what you had to say about the point of view from the author’s perspective. I liked how you mentioned that author was writing from a narrator which is a small girl, sharing her experience. Your responses are really informative and I really enjoyed reading it.

  10. Mohammed Hashim

    Hi Leviza, I really enjoyed reading your critique on “The First Day” surrounding a 5 year old daughter and her mother on their journey to enroll their daughter to school. I agree with your ‘Voice & Style’ because as you said the story was short, simple and easy to read for people and made relatable for some audiences.

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