Many people have experienced t…
Many people have experienced tough and unimaginable events in their life that have marked them for the rest of their existence. For example, in Maya Angelou’s biography, we learn that she suffered many traumatic events that would result in her contributions to literature, civil rights, women’s rights and the arts. Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Johnson in 1928, in St.
Louis, Missouri. At a young age she finds herself and her brother being shipped back and forth from their mothers in St. Louis, to their paternal grandmother’s care in Stamps Arkansas, where she has some of her first experiences of segregation(Sauders). According to Poetry for Students, in 1935 her father took Maya Angelou and her brother, back to live with their mother in St. Louis; There Ms Angelou, at the age of seven was raped by her mothers boyfriend. Her assailant was arrested,and he was subsequently released; but justice would be served in the streets where her uncles beat him to death. Maya, however, felt responsible for his death because she had identified the man that raped her.
She stopped talking as a consequence, of that terrible tragedy. She and her brother were sent back to Arkansas, where they sought the help of Ms. Flowers the town’s teacher, to help Maya out of her muteness. This is where Maya, is first introduced to poetry, and is told that poetry is meant to be read aloud in order to be appreciated. She began speaking as she recited poetry out loud, and this is where she develops her love for poetry. Through poetry Maya Angelou, was able to convey her feelings, life experiences, and was able to inspire other women overcome adversity and stand triumphantly against those who wish to keep them down.Angelou’s personal struggles are well reflected in her poem Still I Rise, where she expresses her struggles trying to overcome a society full of prejudice and oppression, yet she was still able to rise powerful above all hardships.
(Although, Maya Angelou had a hard life growing up, she still managed to prevail above racism and discrimination and became one of the greatest African-American civil rights activist as well as one of the greatest influential women’s poets of our times, in her poem Still I Rise she is able to .)Thesis in progress To fully understand the theme of the poem Still I Rise, we can look further into Maya Angelou’s life. According to Contemporary Black Biography Maya Angelou, was raised during a period when being black in the South meant having to experience discrimination, hatefulness, oppression, and poverty. The topic of racism and slavery date back to centuries ago, a period were people of color experienced unimaginable distress and oppression. Maya Angelou, uses her feelings to convey her thoughts in a time when she felt she was being ruled over. In the first stanza Angelou is directing her writing to those who have oppressed others “you may write down in history with your bitter, twisted lies”(1). This is referring to the cruelty that slaves endured at the hands of their oppressors.
This is a message of hope, strength and the resilience that all human beings have to overcome painful events in their life. This is a clear defiance of people’s inner strength that no matter what happens she will still rise. In the poem Still I Rise Maya Angelou, uses the literary devices such as allusions,similes, symbolism, repetition, and imagery. The tone of the poem is sometimes sarcastic and proud like taunting those who like to put down those who are trying to succeed and rise against all odds. The poem is full of emotions from love to outrage for racial injustice. Firstly, Maya Angelou, uses similes to compare herself to nature relentlessly “rises” above all struggles “You may tread me down in the very dirt” meaning [you] want to keep me down her use of the words “tread” and “dirt”In the second stanza Angelou’s use of similes and imagery .In the first stanza, Angelou writes “Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells Pumping in my living room(2).
With this imagery, she is saying that even though she has been discriminated against she is still able to have that inner confidence and no one can take that from her because to her that is her richness and essence. We know that oil is hidden beneath the earth and it is a natural resource that has to be uncovered to see the value. In conclusion Still I Rise, is a poem of personal perseverance and triumph, were the resilience of human strength shows that were are able to supercede through any adversaries. The main message still resonates and it’s relevant in our society till this day. Especially, nowadays when racism is still very much alive in many parts of our country. This poem as it title says to rise no matter what obstacles we face in life; we cannot give in, or give our power away.