Thoughts In A Zoo By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Yin Xiang Lit/Writ Ms. Dery Block 1 Febuary 5, 2018 Poetry Perspectives Essay “The problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.” - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Adichie explains that while stereotypes show one view of a someone, it doesn’t all of the views of that person. Because of stereotypes, the community only expect that part of that person, preventing that person to explore all their other parts. Thus, trapping them from achieving what they want. Both “Thoughts in a Zoo”(“Zoo”)by Countee Cullen and “All the World’s a Stage”(“Stage”) by William Shakespeare show similar perspectives on how stereotypes trapped people through metaphors. By using metaphors,“Zoo” compares a dreary outlook of how zoo animals live to the conditions of living in a stereotypical community. Cullen uses many fierce animals, animals that symbolize many things, to illustrate this dreadful situation, one of them being an eagle. In lines 11-12, Cullen writes “Gaunt eagle whose raw pinions stain the bars/ That prison you, so men cry for the stars!”. Here, the usage of gaunt describes the eagle, a symbol for freedom, as an animal who is haggard due to suffering or hunger. Cullen further demeans this symbol of freedom when he writes “raw pinions”. This is a term that indicates that the zookeepers have cut off the eagle’s pinions, the parts that are necessary for flight, forever trapping it in its cage. Further in the poem,

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