The poem "Still I rise" by Maya Angelou is mainly about one black woman. In the poem it is saying about a black woman being t... ... middle of paper ... ...propriately. The line which didn't work for me was "I am the dream and hope of the slave" this is because when this poem was written there would have been less slavery and I do not believe that she is the dream of the slave. The rest I very much like. Grace's poem confused me and some part did not make any sense to me so I found it very hard too follow in what was being said.
In Hey Girl, Am I More Than My Hair? : African American Women and Their Struggles with Beauty, Body Image, and Hair Tracey Owen Patton provides a historical review on the emergence of black stereotypes, elaborating on how black women earned the status of inferiority. Black women are held to the Eurocentric expectations, causing these adverse perceptions to evolve from the created principle that white women are the only defining archetypes of beauty (Patton 26). The societal practice of comparing black women to white women sheds a negative light on the black female community, leading to the manife... ... middle of paper ... ...ale’s image is still being felt today, which can be clearly seen through the comment on my acquaintance. I am grateful for artists like Maya Angelou and Kara Walker for protesting the perceptions of black females and working to transform them.
Despite, the ever presence barriers that are set in place by the oppressors ( colonial powers, rich-poor gap etc.) to limit the progress of the American black women in addition to the destruction of the self-identity/ self-esteem. Maya Angelou was able to address two audiences within the poem; it reminded the black women to speak up for herself, to see the beauty in the skin that covers their bodies and to understand their own history and not the history full of falsehood and dead ends. Still I Rise, addresses the oppressor, speaking to them in different tones to convey one simple message; that no matter what you do to stop the movement and liberation of the black
As well as how this contradicted with slavery and thus preventing women from fulfilling exactly these roles. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl highlight these double standards that are put upon white women and black women. White women versus black women is a major theme throughout the book with Harriet Jacobs in the centre. Another important theme in the book is virtue and Jacobs uses herself to describe how hard it was for a black female slave to maintain this. Circumstances prevented her to keep her much cherished virtue and caused a conflict within herself.
As previously stated, the poem’s first stanza coincides with the speaker’s race and identity. In her first and second lines Lorde loosely associates herself with the rest of the black community, stating that she “is the total black” (2). However, physically separating “I” from “total black” parallels Lorde’s own separation from others in the black community. She states that she’s “from the earth’s inside” which mirrors the black community’s repression by the rest of the world, namely American society. In line 4 it is important to note Lorde’s purpose of the word ‘open’, “There are many kinds of open”; she is referring to that which is kno... ... middle of paper ... ...ers,” ready to come out at any moment and kill their intended prey (16-17).
Furthermore, the state of agency and aesthetics addresses the perpetual stereotypes such as race, gender, and hypersexuality, thus striving to overcome obstacles and raise an awareness of empowerment. As a poet and Black feminist, Ntozake Shange’s objective was to inform the African American community of the underlining problems that exist within it, and to give black women a sense of an agency and self-empowerment. Shange envisioned the seven different women to “be nameless & assume hegemony as dictated by the fullness of their lives” (Shange xii). Although the performance demonstrated hegemony, the question of who sets the standards for gender roles is left open-ended. This was probably done as a tactic to challenge commonly held thoughts of black women and their perceptions of their role in society.
Wolff’s essay, despite its faults, “combines perspectives” to provide a fuller representation, understanding, and appreciation of Chopin’s character and her story. Wolff begins by providing The Awakening’s historical background and the cultural obstructions hindering Edna’s sexual expression. Puritan conservatism had given way to Calvinist repression and it was believed as irrefutable fact that women only experienced the sexual impulse through their innate desire to procreate. Therefore, Wolff is able to claim that, “… it is not enough to say that The Awakening is a novel about repression” (381). But rather it is, “… about a woman whose shaping culture has, in general, refused her the right to speak out freely” (381).
It is significant that Dickinson uses a negative parallel construction in the fi... ... middle of paper ... ... stuck at ‘midnight’ and are going to be in infinite darkness unless she finds the cause. “It was not death, for I stood up…”, draws us into a world of depression that could only be expressed through poetry. In the face of internal—and external—questions about loneliness and self-loathing, Dickinson’s poem is a moving testament that laments these particular states of emotion and despair. One cannot explain nor comprehend the depth of how she feels. Her images of darkness and death, as well as her specific metaphors and poetic devices allows the reader to enter her chaotic state of mind.
Kurtz’s portrait of a women and the Two Knitting Women seem to allude to future events within the novel and fill Marlow with a sense of foreboding whilst the Intended and the Primitive Woman seem to dominate Marlow and his perception of women. Marlow’s Aunt has an effect on the narrative rather than on Marlow himself. Whilst these women are often seen as symbolic, the women of Heart of Darkness are important and influential characters in their own right. Marlow’s need to reduce the women to mere symbolism can be seen through Kurtz’s painting. The woman is “draped and blindfolded” “carrying a lighted torch” (p.25) representing Justice and Liberty respectively.
It is their inversion of such qualities that make them unique and interesting but also causes struggle. Many African and African American writers and film makers attempt to capture an aspect of this struggle in their works. Some address the struggle of love for black woman, as we see in the character of Janie in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God. Others will focus on the maternal struggle faced by black woman in America as Sethe in Toni Morrison's Beloved embodies. The more traditional but equally valid perspective deals with racial tensions and how racism challenges the inner strength of black woman as seen in the character of Sofia in Alice Walker's The Color Purple.