Maya Angelou Poetry Analysis

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The Theme of Survival in Maya Angelou’s Poems How human beings overcome various tribulations and survive the difficulties in their lives has always been a critical element in Maya Angelou’s works. She once asserted that all her work, her life, everything about her is about survival (Angelou 13). Indeed, Maya’s life was characterized by significant difficulties all which she overcame and triumphed. A review of her poetry works reveals the survival aspects of her life and the lives of her people. African Americans, across generations, have struggled for freedom experiencing significant losses, destruction, and even deaths. Maya’s poetry highlights these adversities, bringing out the conditions that African Americans had to survive. Her poems also bring out how the African Americans gained courage and pride to overcome, hence the proliferating the theme of survival.…show more content…
For instance, both “Life Doesn’t Frighten Me” and “Still I Rise” feature a comparable tone and pattern where she repeats the titles as a consistent refrain. In both poems also, Maya highlights the sorts of cruelties she faces but, in the end, asserts her victory in overcoming them. In “Still I Rise” she states, “You may write me down in history / With your bitter, twisted lies, / You may trod me in the very dirt (Angelou, The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou).” She then ends with a victorious assertion that, just like dust, she will still rise. In “Life Doesn’t Frighten Me,” on the other hand, she points to noises down the hall and shadows on the wall as some of the unpleasant experiences she faces. She, however, again concludes bravely that “Life doesn’t frighten me at
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