English Comp II
12 March 2012
“Still I Rise”
“Still I Rise” is a powerful poem written by Maya Angelou addressing her pride in herself and in her African American ancestor’s ability to rise above racism and segregation. The tone of the poem is strong and expresses different hardships that Maya Angelou has been faced with overcame. Angelou uses a wide range of similes and metaphors in her poem comparing herself to various natural elements such as the moon, sun and ocean to represent how she approached each circumstance. In numerous works by Maya Angelou, her writing style incorporates numerous symbols, similes, and various emotions. In “Still I Rise” Maya Angelou is the speaker and the audience is the white race who has oppressed her in the past and doubted her future. The poem reflects on the history of slaves and African Americans when she says in lines 39-40, “Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, / I am the dream and the hope of the slave”. Due to her history, she wants to be powerful and successful in her future. She refers to herself in stanza eight as a “black ocean” which represents her strength and power. Angelou also shows her self-confidence in the beginning of stanzas two, four, five, and seven, by posing several rhetorical questions which are used to prove to the reader never to doubt her in her future endeavors. Angelou incorporates her past experiences, powerful views expressed in the tone regarding her pride, feministic values, strong confidence, and close ties with African American ancestry to create a timeline of events that have allowed her to push forward in life despite obstacles from her and her ancestor’s past and face future challenges with zero fear. Angelou incorporates her childhood and personal experiences with segregation in “Still I Rise” to show how the past does not define her, but influences her to become strong, successful, and accomplished . Mary Angelou grew up in Arkansas with her...
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