Comment 137 of 427, added on December 1st, 2005 at 1:33 AM.
In past society African American women have centered themselves as targets
unwillingly through hardships of abused slavery. However, in the world
today as Maya Angelou describes in her poem ,“Still I Rise”, women have
rose from the grown they were thrown to. Maya Angelou’s poem revolves
around the theme of independence and rising when fallen. Angelou uses
metaphors and similes and well as other literary devices to help the reader
understand the struggle she reflects on from anger and pain. The title
implies that Angelou has the ability to rise above anything that evokes to
In the first stanza Maya Angelou uses metaphors to describe the evil
people have against her and how she overcome them. Angelou, the speaker,
starts out saying “ you write me down in history” and “ bitter, twisted
lies” representing that textbooks sometime never hold all truth of history
and that certain things are left out for the sake of children.
Unremarkably, there is a sense of lies and silent discriminations that
border African Americans that are not mentioned in the scripts of history.
Maya immediately makes the reader think twisted of history lessons that
have been lectured over they year. Thus, reviling hundreds of blacks who
had to be killed throughout wars and misfortunes. Through a simile ,“ but
still, like dust, I’ll rise”, Maya displays how her ancestors were put
down, forced to be slaves, but however she has carries herself as a strong
women indicating that although past history has been devastating the spirit
in her will triumph.
In the second, fourth ,fifth , and seventh stanzas Maya uses different
questions to analyze her thoughts. In these questions Maya acknowledges her
good qualities as well as those she is not too in favor of, and she turns
them into positive ones, because it is just she, and no one can change her
way of being. These questions are spilled out to those who apparently can
be targeted at a husband, betrayed friend, or even the enemies of the past.
The technique of asking questions is a way that Angelou pulls the reader
into the poem. With this tactic in mind the reader is obligated to examine
Maya and also their own opinions.
In the first ,third, and sixth stanzas Maya doesn’t question the reader
but however the stanzas end with the phrase “I’ll rise”. The alteration of
questions and the confident phrase “I’ll rise” lets the reader know that
the questions are open minded and that it is the job of the reader to fill
them in. In the third stanza Maya uses literary devices to help the reader
understand her thoughts. Similes in the third stanza describe her inner
self. “ Just like moons and like suns” and “just like hopes springing high”
show how she is an equal to all and all that surround her. In the sixth
stanza her sexual appeal is reference through a simile, “I dance like I’ve
got diamonds at the meeting of my thighs”, demonstrates a sign of natural
sense of pleasure.
In the rhyming of the poem each stanza except the last two follow a
constant pattern of ABCB DEFE GHIH. With the last two stanza their format
of claim changes. Angelou begins to emphasize the rising the title implies,
instead of talking to the reader. In the last two stanzas Angelou mentions
“ rooted in pain” reference of the issue of slavery. Instead of these
troubles hanging on her shoulders, “shoulders falling down like teardrops”
(simile references in the 4th stanza), she brings about the strength her
ancestors gave her, “gifts that my ancestors gave”, to encourage her own
spirit. “ I am the dream and the hope of the slave”, Maya makes reference
to the last stanza that she is obligated as an descendant from them to
carry out their dreams for an opportunity to succeed as a African American
in the free world. Maya creates and poem as a voice for all people, and not
just her own individual story.
from United States