Angelou used questions to make the reader feel and understand her point of view. Maya Angelou’s work as a poet had very defined themes and styles. One of Angelou’s most iconic compositions is a poem of self-worth and perververenve deemed “Still I Rise.” The poem quickly draws the reader into the story through the use of rhetorical questions and continues this style as the poem progresses. “Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes?” (“Still I Rise”).
Some people may argue that Maya Angelou does not show inner strength through symbolism, tone, and imagery. Maybe the symbolism does not show the inner strength and it just shows that Angelou is full of her self or that she may think she is better than others. But, depending on how you read the poem rather you have your mind open for a variety of things depend on what you get out of it. Some may think that the tone has nothing to do with confidence either, that it is just how she wrote it, which makes it, sounds strong. But, when in reality you are able to understand the majority of the poem through the tone.
Maya Angelou’s poem is a reminder of the people who did not have a chance at a free life. Maya Angelou, a North American author, poet, and civil right activist, has become a voice for those who had failed to speak up for themselves. She is recognized for being a spokesperson for black people, woman, and for her commitment of raising the moral standards of black and white people living in the United States. Angelou has written several poems and stories to interpret the horrifying events African Americans experienced in the 1960’s. In the poem, “Caged Bird”, Maya Angelou, utilizes the literary devices of personification, metaphor, and juxtaposition to demonstrate through the metaphor of a caged bird the plight and oppressed life black people had to live.
This means that the author will rise from the dirtiness from the people that will talk down about her. Another example is “just like moons and like suns (9)…just like hopes springing high, still I rise” (11-12). Angelou compares herself to the moons and suns because she will rise no matter what happens just like the sun and moon everyday. These comparisons are made by using the word, “like”, making them a simile. She also uses a different type of comparison, metaphor, which is a comparison without the use of “like or as.” In line 32, the poet quotes, “I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,” which describes herself to a black ocean, which the black ocean represents terror and fear, something that Maya Angelou has faced all her life.
In stanza seven, the river speaks of factories that have dumped their wastes by its side, as well as the exploitation of Native American land and labor; both points are used to show how greed can destroy humanity. At numerous points throughout the poem, Angelou mentions the different races who came to America as immigrants and slaves. The mention of these different races can have a positive and negative connotation. Speaking positively, Angelou may be referring the fact that America has been called “the melting pot” of cultures, and how all people were welcomed openly to America. Negatively, she may be referring to the fact that this medley of cultures has led to an erasure of their individual identities, which relates to her theme of celebrating the diversity of all
The author uses personification which expresses the theme because it shows people saying mean things about the speaker, but they keep moving on. In the poem Angelou states, “You may shoot me with your words, / You may cut me with your eyes, / You may kill me with your hatefulness” (21-23). This literary device is used to show that the speaker will keep moving on no matter what people say about them and how it is relatable because sometimes you get that look from someone. Another device Maya Angelou uses is a simile because she shows that even though people are saying all this mean stuff the speaker is still happy and joyful. Maya Angelou states, “Like dust, I’ll rise” (4).
She is saying that she carries herself as if she is rich and she dances as if she knows she is attractive. Throughout the poem, Angelou targets specific things people have said or done such as the following: harsh words, shame from history, rude stares, hateful remarks, bitter attitudes, etc. Yet, she expresses a theme of overcoming in confidence because everytime she picks out a negative about society, she exaggerates a truth about herself in a positive way. This poem tackles oppression but it also shows that confidence in oneself has the ability to propel one into overcoming. My personal reaction is one of humbling
In reading the passage “Encounter with Martin Luther King Jr.”, it shows a very important moment in Maya Angelou’s life. In the passage, Maya Angelou does not include much of diction or sensory details. Even though these two characteristics are missing, she has a strong grip on characterization of both Martin Luther King Jr. and herself while the dialogue is also well written. The diction in her passage is lacking. In the passage, Maya Angelou does not use powerful and strongly meaning words.
First, words shape the human spirit and have the power to unite. Angelou illustrates the excitement and preparation that leads up to the graduation day. This anticipation carried over to her church as the pastor directed his sermon towards the graduates. Angelou states, “…he used the occasion to speak to backsliders, gamblers, and general ne’er-do-wells.” (Angelou, 2014, p.181). The minister’s sermon, not only encouraged Angelou’s graduating class but also became a time to motivate the backsliders in the church who had lost their way.
With what I’ve learned about the struggles of both Maya Angelou and Tim O’Brien, I’ve learned that as long as I still have the will to fight against my burdens, I will come out alive and hopeful. In a situation where it’s either your life or living with the painful emotional burdens and trauma of your past experiences, what would you choose? Would you be strong enough to