A Theme Of Discrimination In Maya Angelou's Still, I Rise
Through Maya Angelou's poetry ‘‘Still, I Rise’’, the poet uses repetition, metaphors, rhyme and anaphora to convey to the audience how she conquered discrimination through her life by displaying a powerful, confident, mentality to encourage others. Angelou’s message throughout the poem is based on her past struggles in her life. For example at the age of 7 during a visit with her mother, Angelou was raped by her mothers boyfriend. When she revealed what happened to her, her uncle beat the man to death, after that she chose not speak for five years. She also grew up witnessing racial oppression and neglect but also retained the ideals, religion and customs of Southern African America. She would continue to play a significant role in her later year it demonstrates how she overcame these issues through activism, addressing and fixing the known issue.
Angelou uses repetition throughout the poem in the word ' rise ' to indicate that she has overcome discrimination and has grown above it. In the sentence, ' You may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I’ll rise.' One of the main ideas in her poem to the viewer is that no matter how unfairly people may regard her because of her race, she will not be overcome and will, therefore, stand up for her right and that she'll rise to every occasion and nothing will hold her back, not even her skin colour.
The use of a metaphor by the author Angelou in the final stanza is linked to the poem's main concept, which is the idea of her self-respect, and confidence and her belief of how her self-esteem can conquer every judgement made. Throughout the line' I am the slave's vision and hope,' In the statement 'I am the vision and hope of the slave.' Angelou uses a metaphor to specifically contrasting oneself to what a slave hopes about, which is integrity and equality. She calls herself the' Human Rights Ambassador' and hence describes herself as a leader who will take the very first step in the movement against discrimination and campaign for equality. This yet again demonstrates her strong, successful approach to fighting racial inequality.
In the first part of several verses, Angelou uses anaphora which often corresponds to the repeating of a phrase or expression. In the opening lines of the poetry she uses Anaphora, the poet has repeated the words 'You may' to convey her thoughts as to what the society has done previously, allowing individuals to criticise and judge someone based on appearances or beliefs.
In conclusion 'Still I Rise' is above all regarding self-respect. Angelou explains in the poem how she can with her self-conquer everything. She reveals that nothing ever will come crashing down on her. She must grow at the opportunity so nothing will hold her off, not even her skin colour. These issues were emphasised due to the thorough use of the techniques she used throughout the poem Anaphora, metaphors, rhyme and repetition. The poem is a message that she will not, for one, encourage society's hatefulness to decide its own growth. The poem is not just a statement of her ability to rise above society, it is also an inspiration to others to survive beyond the world in which they were raised.