Maya Angelou Throughout all works of literature, the daily events affecting the lives of the authors can be found in many different pieces of their work. Although it may not be a direct relation to what these authors experience, they often relate the themselves to their narrators through many different literary devices. However, these processes really stand out through the works of Maya Angelou. Through the use of metaphors and similes, Angelou relates her writings back to the harsh conditions of the socially unjustified period of the 1930’s onward; explaining the restraints placed upon both herself and her race by those who considered themselves to be her superiors. Following her birth on April 4 of 1928, Angelou grew up in the time period …show more content…
Within her poems, Angelou will use metaphors and similes to hide the different meanings she is trying to express. In the poem Caged Bird, Angelou sets up a metaphor, and relates the pain and sorrow a caged bird feels when it cannot fly free to the despair her race feels, due to it’s lack of freedom within the American society. “The free bird leaps,” relates the white people to a free bird that, “dares to claim the sky.” Meaning that they don’t have to fear consequence for their actions because they are granted their rights by the law; whereas the bird trapped in a cage has, “his wings...clipped his feet...tied,” which doesn’t allow him to go anywhere or do anything, restraining him, and keeping him from seeing the beauty of the world as the white people did to African Americans. In the poem Still I Rise, Angelou uses similes to add the exact same effect. Throughout the poem, Angelou relates negative vocabulary to herself, emphasizing the hate she has received. She discusses how the people will write about her race with, “bitter, twisted lies,” distorting their culture, refusing to …show more content…
Due to the time period she wrote in, Angelou would be criticized for her ability to write, “without apology,” of the fearful life she lived. However, now that is the reason as to why her work is so highly praised. Yet, critics feel as if Angelou’s work is simply overused and not appreciated for what it truly is. Instead of looking at Angelou as a poet, people look at her as an, “inspirational public speaker,” and can often be found on the front of a, “Hallmark greeting card,” instead of the pages in a textbook. Angelou doesn’t really show this criticism in her work but she does represent the criticism she received as African American woman poet in her time period. She often would discuss how people would misuse her race and treat them like nothing, and, “may trod” them “in the very dirt.” But despite these harsh criticisms of her work, Angelou continued writing of her struggles, and brought to life the hardships she had to face whilst living in this time period, which in the end, become what she was most critically acclaimed for, and the reason that out of the, “huts of history’s shame,” she conquered the fears, not only of her past, but of saying the words she used to be afraid to say. In conclusion, Maya Angelou’s poems are still very applicable to the lives of her reader’s today. To
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In 1970, a child with skinny legs and muddy skin was introduced into African American literature. Born marguerite Johnson she became known as Maya Angelou (Lupton 51). Her critically acclaimed works have changed the way of the African American autobiography is written.
Discrimination and prejudice throughout American history has left behind a legacy of oppression towards minorities and women. In spite adversity and harsh circumstances Maya Angelou’s poems “And Still I Rise” and “ Phenomenal Woman” leave the reader with the impression that “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise” (Victor Hugo). These optimistic, prideful poems are anthems of strength and overcoming power for minority groups, especially the African American community. Angelou depicts that hardships and struggles are able to strengthen and aid one to conquer any obstacles they may face in life.
In Maya Angelou’s third book of poetry And Still I Rise, the personal struggles of the African American Woman are brought to life through poetic works. With inspirations drawn from personal journeys of Maya Angelou herself, powerful poems praise, celebrate, and empathize with the feminine colored experience. Angelou’s writing sheds glaring light on themes of feminine power, beauty, and perseverance, raising the African American Woman to a pedestal that demands respect and adoration. For Angelou’s audience, the everyday woman is presented equipped with all the necessities to thrive and shine in the face of adversity. In Maya Angelou’s works “Phenomenal Woman”, “Woman Work”, and “Still I Rise”, audiences are able to connect to the strength and virtue of the woman that is brought to life through the praising of femininity, and through its power to make an impact on society.
Maya Angelou’s poetry is tied to her life experiences as a child and an adult. Angelou first started her writing in her thirties. “The pattern emerging from those events is that of a person’s struggle to establish, as Dolly A. McPherson says of Angelou’s autobiographies, “order out of chaos,” a struggle to relate her personal experience to the general condition of African Americans, so that the individual’s chaotic life is given order through the awareness of being related to the communal experience (Balance 1). Angelou’s poetry also bears out this struggle, which Pricilla Ramsey characterizes as the transformation of “the elements of a stultifying and personal, social, political and historical milieu into a sensual and physical refuge” (Balance 1).
Maya Angelou has faced many difficult events which has helped her to reach a deeper connection with messages in her poetry, and how to keep her head up when going through hard things in life. Angelou was born on April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri. When she turned 3 she went to live with her grandma in Stamps, Arkansas where she started facing discrimination based on her skin color. At age 7 she went through the traumatizing event of being raped by her mother’s boyfriend, and she then stayed mute for five whole years. According to The Poetry Foundation during that time she found her passion for literature, and with the help of her friend Mrs. Flowers, she learned more about poetry, the importance of education, and then eventually started speaking again (Maya Angelou). As she grew up, Angelou had a child coming out of high-school and led the hard life of a single mother and a waitress trying to support her child.
Maya Angelou was born on April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri as Marguerite Annie Johnson. Maya Angelou was raised both in St. Louis and Stamps, Arkansas. At a young age, Maya’s parents separated, and she had to say goodbye to her mother to go live with her father in Stamps, Arkansas. One of the most impacting events in her life happened at the age of seven, during a family get together with her mother’s boyfriend at the time. The man raped Maya and soon after, her uncles found out what had happened, and they decided to take matters into their own hands. Her uncles killed the man who had raped her, and Maya became so influenced by this experience that she decided to no longer speak, “spend[ing] years as a virtual mute.”(Bio.com) During the second World War, Maya moved to San Francisco, California and studied at the California Labor School. In 1944 when Maya was 16, she gave birth to her first and only son, Guy. She was a single mother who worked multiple jobs to support her family. Throughout her life, Maya has faced racial discrimination as well as sexual assault and has turned her pain into redemption through her poems.
We all experience tragedies in our lives at some point. However, many of us let these tragedies take hold and control us. Trapping us inside with the feeling of no way to escape, but it is the people, like Maya Angelou, who can take so many of these tragedies and turn them into something greater. Not only to help herself cope with these tragedies, but as a way to inspire others along the way as well.
Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Annie Johnson, was born on April 4th, 1928 in St. Louis Missouri. Soon after, she was raised in Stamps Arkansas. Her childhood was very difficult. She faced challenges that affected her way of thinking and confidence. At age three, her parents split
The poem “Still I Rise” is about overcoming oppression with grace and moving on despite the hateful words and actions of oppressors. The poem is written with Maya Angelou herself as the speaker. It is written in the present tense displaying that she has overcome all her hardships. There is an underlined “you” in the poem that could be referred to “whites” or her oppressor. The “I” in the poem refers to her; she is a representation of her African American ancestors. She writes about how she overcame racism, and personal experiences. She proves that the color or her skin will not hold her back, from what she is destined to be. This poem has many references to slavery.
Maya Angelou describes the situation, feelings and descriptions of a person (probably herself) who does not need people to try and lift her up. Maya shows us within the poem that all those oppressed in general are strong. Within the poem we are shown some of the feelings and thoughts people have displayed against her, but in reality she won’t let them get her down. Maya’s moral opulence allows her to rise above where her ancestors fell to slavery; carrying herself as a strong woman. Her ancestors dream was to have a life in society without the fear of what might happen to them (slavery). The author herself is portrayed in the...
Maya Angelou’s excerpt from her book “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” reveals the challenges facing a young black girl in the south. The prologue of the book tells of a young Angelou in church trying to recite a poem she has forgotten. She describes the dress her grandmother has made her and imagines a day where she wakes up out of her black nightmare. Angelou was raised in a time where segregation and racism were prevalent in society. She uses repetition, diction, and themes to explore the struggle of a black girl while growing up. Angelou produces a feeling of compassion and poignancy within the reader by revealing racial stereotypes, appearance-related insecurities, and negative connotations associated with being a black girl. By doing this she forces the
Born 1928, in St. Louis, Mo, Marguerite Johnson’s childhood was not an easy one. Her parents divorced when she young and her paternal grandmother cared for her for several years in Stamps, Arkansas (Funk & Wagnalis).At the age of 8, Angelou was raped by her mother’s boyfriend. The man was found guilty but released only after serving a day in prison. He was subsequently killed by her uncles( Funk & Wagnalis ).After this incident, Maya Angelou remained silent for several years...