As a work of journalism, there are few overtly literary flourishes that guide the story in the manner of fiction. However, there are motifs which by their very nature take on an added significance as Cedric grows and matures. It may be said that many of these motifs are true for most any person, as these are common fabrics in our culture.

The institutions in Cedric's life come to symbolize different phases in his development. The primary examples are schools. Though described after the fact, Jefferson Junior High was the place of Cedric's early hopes and aspirations, as well as a reminder of how his weaknesses - his anger and overwhelming pride, as well as financial instability - deprived him of an easier path. Ballou is a place of entrapment for Cedric, as he finds himself held down by the ridicule of his peers and diminished educational facilities. When he moves on, he would remember it in more benign terms, as a haven and a place for support: that was clear to readers, given the portrait of certain teachers key to Cedric's development, but it takes distance for Cedric himself to be aware of the importance Ballou had in his growth.

The remaining two schools that are important symbols in Cedric's life are colleges. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is the..........

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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on A Long Way Gone".