Maya Angelou Point Of View

1234 Words5 Pages
Points of view often differ from person to person depending on the situation and their personal beliefs and experiences. Often times when people witness similar circumstances, varying outcomes will occur. A person can see a situation in one way, while the other person interprets it completely different. The narratives by Amy Tan’s “Fish Cheeks” and Maya Angelou’s “Champion of the World” embody the concept of differing points of view emerging from two different people who go through similar experiences. Both Tan and Angelou discuss cultural differences between their lives and that of a caucasian person, but they approach this theme in drastically different ways through their use of detail and internal thoughts. Tan focuses solely on her life…show more content…
In narration, point of view is able to be distinguished from other pieces with similar overall themes through the authors use of descriptive details and deep internal thoughts and reflections.
The details chosen by the author and related personal dialogue contribute to the success of a narrative in portraying the author’s point of view. Tan uses vivid details as she describes the clashing of a traditional Chinese dinner with her desire to be less Chinese in order to be like the other teenagers her age. After her parents invite the minister’s family over for Christmas Eve dinner, which included her crush Robert, Tan agonizes about her embarrassment over Robert and his family eating their strange, traditional Chinese food. Her despair is evident as her “relatives licked the ends of their chopsticks….my father poked his chopsticks just below the fisheye and plucked out the soft meat...I wanted to disappear” (Tan 5). Tan is more afraid
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As Angelou’s narrative unfolds, she describes in great detail the boxing match between Joe Louis, an African American man and Carrera, a Caucasian, as she and many other African-Americans in her community listen to the match over the radio while waiting on bated breath for the hopeful news of Joe’s victory. As Angelou describes, the match meant more than just boxing, “If Joe lost we were back in slavery and beyond help” (Angelou 20) and the whites would retain their superiority. African Americans needed to win to prove their strength, but with this proven strength also comes more fear. The repercussions of Joe’s win proves to be more conflict for the African-American community, “It wouldn't do for a Black man and his family to be caught...when Joe Louis had proved we were the strongest people in the world” (Angelou 30). African-Americans, who were oppressed in the community had gained strength after the match, but the white communities fear of them increased more. This irony, that African- Americans are now proven to be strong, but they are still discriminated by the white population, only adds to Angelou’s internal and external conflict with racism. Besides her personal struggles, Angelou broadens her narrative to address not just her personal point of view, but also the struggles faced by the entire community. Internally, she struggles with racism and
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