How Does Maya Angelou Show Feminism

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Today, Maya Angelou is known as a great poet, actress, screenwriter, author, and dancer. But at one moment in time, her powerful voice was unheard of. Her rough childhood, her parents’ divorce, and being raped by her mother’s boyfriend left Angelou overwhelmed. This left her too traumatized to speak for several years. She finally found her voice through traveling, acting, and writing. Later on a friend discovered how talented she was and convinced Angelou to write a memoir. This memoir "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" marked history as the first non-fiction best seller written by an African-American woman. The memoir, like all Angelou 's writing, reveals her essence, childhood struggles, and young adult struggles to the reader. Even after…show more content…
In addition, her writing style also enforces the main concepts of feminism. Maya Angelou channels her feministic views through her powerful works of literature. Maya Angelou shows feminism in her tone, metaphors, and symbolism through her poems “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” “Still I Rise,” “Men,” and "Phenomenal Woman.’’

Maya Angelou’s poem “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” has feminist views through her tone, rhyme scheme, and symbolism. This autobiography is Angelou’s most popular piece. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” is a poem comparing a caged bird to a free bird. A passage from the poem that differs the caged bird from the free bird is “The free bird thinks of another breeze/… and the fat worms/… and he names the sky his own./ But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams/
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The tone of this poem is sassy and powerful. The rhyme scheme has a repetition and rhythm that shows a sense of strength. The symbolism in this poem is the main character and her struggles. The main character and her struggles represent Maya Angelou and her struggles. Angelou uses her powerful rhythm and tone to write about a woman’s sexiness and unbearable aura. She challenges men and their attempt to shut down women with her lines “Does my sexiness upset you?/does it come as a surprise/ that I dance like I’ve got diamonds/ at the meeting of my thighs?” (Angelou, Lines 25-28). Angelou uses her great writing techniques to place women upon a pedestal too great for men to obtain. She pours her struggles into her writings which produces a strong attitude and flow of emotions. “I planned to put all the things bothering me--my heavy load--in that book, and let them pass.” (Elliot). Angelou reveals to Elliot that she unloads her troubles in her poetry. She gives the reader her essence. “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou has feminist views illustrated through her tone, rhyme scheme, and
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