Metaphors In Maya Angelou

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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

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how maya angelou relates her writings back to the harsh conditions of the socially unjust period of 1930’s onward.
  • Narrates how angelou grew up in the 1930's, a time when racism was evident in every african american life. she was traumatized by the acts of her mother’s lover, who raped her.
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