Still I Rise Maya Angelou Analysis

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With each evolving era there is a strong and independent woman leading a change. In medieval times there was Joan of Arc and in modern day America it was former first lady Michelle Obama. These women were fighters for what they believed would make the world a better place. Another leading lady who stood alongside Rosa Parks during the time where segregation was heavily present, was the incredibly talented Maya Angelou. This successful female author wrote a masterful poem during one of the most brutal times to be a black woman. The poem Still I Rise is a great example of how women are strong and beautiful beings who deserve the same rights as those who identify another race or gender. In a thorough critique of Maya Angelou’s powerful poem Still…show more content…
This poem was written in times of segregation and unfair treatment in the early sixties. Black and white was not just a color, but a status in which women of both races were excluded from making their own decisions. In her poem Angelou crafts, “You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise” (Angelou). In this stanza she rhymes eyes with rise showing even though all the judgmental eyes were on African Americans during this time, Angelou embraced the attention and brought something good out of it. Angelou also expresses this powerful and courageous tone in the very first stanza. The author illustrates, “you may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies, you may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I 'll rise” (Angelou). This quote shows how bitter and prejudice whites treated blacks in this time period, but Angelou was unhindered and determined to go down swinging. Angelou rhymes “lies” and “rise” in this stanza which is effective in explaining her experience living through segregation and abuse, because it shows there was no sincerity between the two races and through that she still brought herself up to be better. The placement of this stanza was strategically brilliant. The first line of the poem talks about how Angelou will go down in history, which was…show more content…
Independence seems to be the most important theme in Maya Angelou’s poem. The poem strongly suggests a personal accomplishment by using “I”. The entire poem follows this lead because it frequently uses “I” to show what one person is thinking. Angelou is obviously speaking about herself and how she overcame adversity, because the entire poem states her personal opinions and actions. This act shows that Angelou is confident and will succeed to get what she rightfully deserves. Angelou ends her poem with, “Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise. Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise. Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise. I rise. I rise”(Angelou). This stanza was structured perfectly to end such a powerful and emotional poem. In the quote she talks about, “leaving behind nights of terror and fear...,” which brings the audience to the conclusion of Angelou reaching the finish line of her terrible experience. Angelou sets a calm tone when she mentions a clear and peaceful morning of freedom and equality. She also mentions bringing pride to her ancestors who were slaves also fighting for freedom, which supports the end of an era of diversity and discrimination. The last stanza in all supports a very amicable tone, which is appropriate because the first stanza started with a strong and mighty approach. Angelou also repeats “I rise” five times in this stanza, which supports that she is celebrating a time of
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