My Holiday in the Kampung

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‘Africa’, simple and straightforward, the title speaks for itself. Maya Angelou planted the seed of idea even before we read the first line. The poem is about Africa rising above all the suffering and despair she has endured, leaving the past behind her in order to strive towards freedom and liberation. Anthropomorphizing Africa, a continent into a woman is an epitome of the personification of a land. In the first stanza, Africa is portrayed as a physically attractive black woman, denied of her rights. Things worsen in stanza two when she helplessly witness the ungentle brigands took her young daughters and sold her strong sons. She succumbs to them, surrendering when they churched her with Jesus and bled her with guns. The people of Africa are exploited in the violence of slavery and blood is shed because they refused to worship the English’s vision of God. Stanza 3 is about the amenable woman now standing up for herself, ready to fight her own battles. Similarly, Africa is rising now despite all the dreadful history. The poet draws upon the trope mentioned above, turning the usually overlooked mass of land into something perceptible, something human. The persona can ‘remember’ her pain and ‘remember’ the losses. These two lines indicate the use of anaphora. Throughout the struggle for survival, each generation has experienced some form of loss and destruction, or even death. Anaphora is used to emphasize on the urgency of the matter, reminding people of the way blacks were treated in the past so that history does not repeat itself. Repetition of the phrase-‘Thus she has lain’ illustrates that African, especially the blacks have suffered for quite some time at the hand of the slavers, being oppressed and taken advantage of. Maya Angelou once proclaimed, “All my work, my life, everything is about survival. But not just bare, awful, plodding survival. Survival with some style, with faith” (Angelou & Elliot, 1989). The image of a continent that is battered...
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