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Imagery and the attention to detail are important parts in telling a story. For a writer to captivate readers and make them feel a part of what they are reading, transporting them into the writer’s world, that is a very powerful thing. One such write, Edward P. Jones, accomplishes this in his short story “The First Day.” From the beginning Jones goes into detail about the clothes the young girl is wearing, the smells of the hair grease her mother used on her head, what her breakfast consisted of, etc. to captivate the reader. By taking the time to elaborate on the few key little things, Jones opens the the young girl’s world to the reader. The attention to detail doesn’t fade as the reader is then transported on a journey through the girl’s neighborhood to her future elementary school, Walker-Jones.

Along with the physical imagery of her surroundings, the girl’s depiction of her mother is an important piece to the story. Through the girl’s eyes, one is able to picture a strong-willed, hard-working woman who doesn’t let her faults compromise her situation, or her daughter’s, to the best of her ability. Through Jones’s attention to detail, an emotional connection is created between the reader and the girl as the story progresses; however, this becomes more apparent at the end when the girl and mother part ways. The girl begins an old game she and her mother used to play, but midway though this game the mother puts the girl’s hand down to her side and then walks away; the girl listens to her mother’s footstep above all the other noise. This kind of imagery pulls the reader to a solemn place and can leave one to ponder one’s own thoughts.

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