Maya Angelou Essay

Topics: Poetry, Stanza, Homemaker Pages: 2 (1339 words) Published: November 10, 2014
After reading the critical anthology, explore and analyse the use of feminism in Woman Work by Maya Angelou In this essay I am going to explore and analyse how Maya Angelou uses feminism in Woman Work to represent the typical day of a housewife and their thoughts on their domestic responsibilities. The poem was published in 1978 in part two of her book, “And Still I Rise”. The poem focuses on a hopeful determination to rise above difficulty and expectations. The poem is an escape from reality for the speaker. She is tired of the routine work that she has to revolve her life around, this is seen straightaway in the first stanza when she writes all of the tasks she has to complete before the day is out, “The floor to mop // The food to shop // Then the chicken to fry” This emphasises her feelings towards her dull and drab life whilst also showing that she has the potential to be more which brings in the use of feminism in this poem. She knows that she is more than what is expected of her which is why she asks in stanza three to be blown away “from here With your fiercest wind” She wants to break free from the traditional standards of women. The first stanza is structured like a list, that uses repetition with “the” to emphasise how much the speaker has to get through in one day whilst also highlighting the amount of duties woman are expected to complete without help. The poem is an escape from the repetitive routine of her life which is shown in the first stanza. The first stanza also has a redundant tone when listing the tasks at hand; these chores are completed everyday which is why the speaker expresses them as negative. However, the tone changes when the second stanza begins, it becomes more wishful and optimistic and this tone carries on throughout the stanzas that follow. The poem is made up of 5 stanzas that focus on different things. Stanza one describes the activities of a domestic housewife, for example “I’ve got the children to tend // The clothes to...
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