Rhetorical Analysis: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings In her memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Maya Angelo commemorates and admires strong independent black women and strives to become a well-educated woman herself. Through the use of visual imagery, Angelou describes Mrs. Flowers as a refined black woman to convey to the audience a feeling of pride and recognition for all sophisticated black women and a sense of empathy for Maya. Maya compares Mrs. Flowers to the “women in English novels” who had the luxury to sit “in front of roaring fireplaces” and drink “tea incessantly from silver trays” (93). The visual description of the “fireplace” and “tea” demonstrates to the reader the value that white women have in this society.
Maya Angelou’s Graduation deals with the social concept of a rite of passage. A rite of passage refers to an important event in someone’s life, In this short story; childhood to adulthood. Angelou excellently frames this piece through her use of a joyful tone and childlike perspective. Angelou also deals with racial issues of the time through subtle and blatant symbolism.
Power can be a healing force, but can also be used to destroy. Both sides of this point are explored in both Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelly and Still I Rise by Maya Angelou. Ozymandias is a sonnet by Percy Bysshe Shelly. It was published in 1818 during the period of time where freedom of expression was very popular. Still I Rise was published in 1978 by African-American civil rights activist Maya Angelou.
Maya Angelou was one of the most influential literary phenomenons, who created numerous inspiring works and paved the way for many African Americans, while facing discrimination and prejudices. She gave people hope through her countless works of literature and gave people an understanding to what it really feels like to be an African American. Throughout her life, Maya had a very traumatic childhood. Her parents, Vivian Baxter Johnson and Bailey Johnson, had gotten a divorce when she was 3 and she as well as her brother, were sent to live with her grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas.
Throughout the course of history, African American people have made tremendous sacrifices to obtain equality and overall success as members of society. Many of these individuals have documented their thoughts, feelings, and experiences through various forms of art and writing. One particularly striking example of this, is a poem written by Maya Angelou titled “Still I Rise”. “Still I Rise” is a poem filled with strength and confidence, revealing Angelou’s character and positive outlook on life despite her previous grievances. Within the poem, Angelou is seemingly speaking to those who do not wish her success and prosperity.
The human body has 640 muscles and the strength of these muscles vary from person to person. The strongest muscle found in each body, whether scrawny or burly, is the tongue. The tongue can unite, uplift, restore, and encourage. The power of the tongue can also cause bitterness, strife, and envy. This small muscle, located in the mouth, impacts large spheres in the world, such as jobs, politics, and relationships.
In “Momma, the Dentist, and Me,” Maya Angelou describes Mommas’ struggle during racial segregation in a childhood memory and in a rare but glorious case is overcome. Angelou recalls when she and Momma, her grandmother, go to the dentist for a toothache severe enough that young Angelou contemplates death to feel relief from the excruciating pain. Angelou imagines her Momma’s actions in the dentist's office after being turned down heroically. Angelou demonstrates a small victory over racism with Momma’s actions as she stands valiantly against racial injustice. In order to strengthen her narrative, Angelou employs imagery, hyperbole, and tone effectively.
“Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou and “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop are two tales of tenacity. Both poems are centered around failure, and were both written by influential, American, female poets, in the 1970s. However, they are two very different perspectives of failure, and two separate kinds of oppression. Elizabeth Bishop writes about an emotional oppression, and the belief that becoming upset can hold people down, and says that not emotional disasters will stop her.
The value of perseverance Perseverance is the steadfastness in doing something despite the difficulty in achieving success. In the stories “Occupation: Conductorette” and “Like the Sun” both protagonist: Angelou and Sekhar used perseverance to help deal with their conflicts. With them using perseverance, it assisted them towards what they wanted to accomplish. Perseverance is a valuable trait to possess because it helps make progress towards goals.
Self-Identity In Maya Angelou’s narrative, “Graduation Day,” she conveys the oppressive reality of life in the South by sharing an experience in which words influenced her character. Angelou recounts the words of her community on the day of her graduation as uplifting and hopeful for the graduates’ futures. When Mr. Donleavy, a white speaker, arrives he delivers a speech to the graduates informing them about the forthcoming educational improvements to their school and the Central High School, an all-white school. The suggestive differences expose the graduates to their limitations for success.