Maya Angelou’s poem “Still I Rise” was published in 1978 at one of the most productive and successful periods of Angelou’s career. “Still I Rise” tells about bouncing back and rising up past oppression and hate. The speaker in Angelou’s poem talks to a direct audience, asking them questions, announcing to them that no matter what they do, she will always rise back up. The poem is broken up into quatrains, although the last two stanzas use the repetition of the phrase “I rise” between the complete lines. The author uses figurative language in every stanza of her poem and uses similes and metaphors to create imagery and to get the tone and the theme of the poem across to the reader. Angelou uses figurative language to convey the message of resilience and succeeding even through hatred.
n American history, racial inequality has been a prevalent issue for many decades. Slavery is America's original sin. In the 1930s, racial inequality and segregation lived and breathed well. At this point in time, segregation in schools and other public places was still present. For preposterous reasons, white and black people had separate water fountains, restaurants, rest rooms, and areas on the bus. During this time full of racism and racial inequality, Maya Angelou was just a little girl growing up in St. Louis, Missouri. St. Louis is a town in the South, like many others, had inequalities at the time. In 1938 Maya Angelou was only ten years old. At this age, she worked for a lady named Mrs. Viola Cullinan. Maya Angelou wrote briefly about her time spent working for Mrs. Cullinan in her short story “Mary.” Maya Angelou's’ use of vivid, direct characterization and alternating childish voice to mature adult narrative diction filtered through her authentic first person point of view helps to prominently establish the theme of Angelou’s distaste for racial inequality throughout the short story.
In “My First Lifeline” written by Maya Angelou, the author vividly explains a lifeline thrown to her in a time of need. The essay became a reflection of Angelou’s childhood and presented the reasoning behind some of the traits she acquired. Angelou utilizes vernacular speech, figurative language, and sensory details to aid in expressing the first lifeline thrown at her.
Angelou utilizes metaphors to prove to her readers that she is determined and willing to end the conflict of racial segregation in America. She describes the past slavery and the harsh terms that her ancestors used to go through, but now in the current situation of America, she can come, “out of the huts of history’s shame /I rise” (29-30). The audience is reminded of the fact that slavery is now in the past, and Angelou does this in order to rhetorically ask the audience ‘why America overcame slavery. ’ She describes herself emerging from a ‘hut of history’s shame’ as she is referring to the huts that slaves used to be kept in, as well as proving to be the generation that puts an end the shameful segregation in America, ‘I rise.’ The relation of rising from a slave hut into the world reveals the statement being made that Angelou will no longer accept the African American’s current treatment. She goes further on the topic of America’s history of slavery and
Maya Angelou’s “Alone” is an incredible narrative poem that readers can relate to. This poem is about realizing that no matter who you are, or where you come from, or how much money you have, you need other human beings to survive in this world. In life you need people who love you and help you through hardships. The poem is easy to read and understand because of the simplicity of the diction. Angelou uses the phrase, “That nobody, / But nobody / Can make it out here alone,” to get her point across. The fact that she uses the phrase to make a point allows the reader to look past the trite. The tone of the poem is yearning. Angelou brilliantly uses assonance, alliteration, figurative language, and AB, AB rhyme. The meaning of this poem is one of great importance.
In the poem ‘Still I Rise’ by Maya Angelou, the poet uses repetition, metaphors and similes to express to her audience about how she has overcome racism in her life through demonstrating a strong, proud and defiant attitude to inspire others.
“You have tried to destroy me and although I perish daily I shall not be moved,” (Angelou, 2014), says Maya Angelou in her Commencement speech to the 1992 Spelman College graduates. Poet and award-winning author, Maya Angelou, is most well known for her poetry, essay collection, and memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Angelou happened to be the first black female cable car conductor who later started a career in theatre and music (Maya Angelou: Poet and Historian, n.d.). Once her acting and musical career began to take off, Angelou began touring with productions and released her first album Miss Calypso (Maya Angelou Fast Facts, 2017). Later, Angelou earned a Tony Award nomination for her role in the play Look Away and an Emmy Award nomination for the work she performed in the television mini-series Roots (Maya Angelou: Poet, Civil Rights Activist, Author, Activist, 2017). Angelou was also the first African American woman to have her screenplay produced (Maya Angelou: Poet, Civil Rights Activist, Author, Activist, 2017). Out of the number of poetry collections Angelou published, Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Die happened to be her most famous collection that was also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize (Maya Angelou: Poet, Civil Rights Activist, Author, Activist, 2017). The focus of this paper is to critique Angelou’s credibility, sincerity, and appeal to her whole audience in her delivery during the Spelman Commencement Address in 1992.
Maya Angelou, an African-American woman, wrote the poem, “Still I Rise,” in 1978 when racism was still prominent. Maya Angelou was reaching out to a racist community to prove oppression will not bring her down. Angelou brings up topics of what she and every other African-American person has to endure when living in their communities, and how they feel. She also brings up topics of oppression and marginalization throughout this speech to state that she will continue to rise up above it. Maya Angelou utilizes rhetorical questions, hateful diction, as well as, similes and metaphors to prove to others that she, and other African-American’s will rise against the racism and oppression they face.
Throughout the years, sports have become a major part of society. Sports, a large percentage of the time, are a part of peoples’ lives in one way or another. Whether they participate in them or just enjoy watching them, sports are a big deal to the majority of people. There are also some individuals who have redefined the expectations when it comes to certain sports. For instance, Babe Ruth redefined the way people think about baseball, or Michael Jordan completely changing the game of basketball. But Joe Louis and Venus and Serena Williams have changed their games in a way no one could have imagined. Although “Champion of the World” by Maya Angelou and “Woman Who Hit Very Hard and How They’ve Changed Tennis” by Michael Kimmelman are different, they are similar in the ways they show how the respected athletes, Joe Louis and the Williams sisters, changed the game and were seen using symbolism in racial and sexual progression.
Thursby, Jacqueline. “Critical companion to Maya Angelou.” A Literary Reference to Her Life and Work. New York: Random House, Inc., 1996. 240 Print.
Cone tells us that blacks would rather die than surrender to some other value. “When the black man rebels at the risk of death, he is forcing white society to look at him, to recognize him, to take his being into account, to admit that he is.” Black Power is really an attitude, an inward affirmation of essential worth of blackness.
The poem “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou, addresses White people who discriminate African Americans. During this period of time, Black people were not being treated equally, with this poem Angelou wants to defend African Americans. As a civil rights activist it is her job to fight for people's rights. By employing simile, imagery, and repetition, Angelou defends African Americans against their oppressors and shows that people have to be confident and strong, and not feel put down but rise above their problems.
Maya Angelou is one out of the best known poets. She has written a lot of poems that inspires and assist people with their lives. She has a “desire humbleness to learn and experience all that life has to offer her” (gale biography in context, “Maya Angelou More than a Poet”) which makes her poems have a meaning to them. In addition, Maya Angelou got a lot of pieces of poems considered equality to her experience as a human of the United States during race times and her experience as a person who worked with other civil right activist. Maya Angelou uses deep themes that leaves the reader to think about the topic is being talked about. In her poem, “Still I Rise” she talks metaphorically about discrimination. In the poem, it states, “does my haughtiness offend you? ( the poetry foundation, “Maya Angelou”). This quote from the poem shows how the rest of the poem is about people believe they is better than other people and that the other people should suffer because they are inferior to the people, but the people being abused should not be embarrassed of who they are and be thankful for life(“Maya Angelou More than a Poet 1”).
Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” takes place in the mind of Maya Angelou. She is talking about someone who is saying bad things about her. Even though they are saying bad things about her she won’t let it bring her down she will rise. She shows her Confidence by saying that she will rise, another way she is showing her Confidence is by being confident in her heritage, and her Confidence is evident through her displays of literary devices.
Rising Up in Still I Rise by Maya Angelou ? Still I Rise? by Maya Angelou is directed towards blacks on how to be proud of their ancestry, themselves, and their overall appearance. The poem is a special and motivating poem that African-Americans (and other races for that matter) should read and take to heart. According to African-Americans, Maya Angelou states that no matter what white Americans (slave owners) say or do to African-Americans (slaves) they can still rise up to make a better life for themselves and their race as a whole.