My Thoughts about Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise”

In this poem, the speaker goes through several changes in the way that they speak about themselves. (CX) The author shows this by how they structure the words in the poem. (CX) The differences signify a change in the demeanor of the speaker. (IC)

Between the first and second halves of the poem, there are several changes in how the speaker talks. (CX) In the first half, the speaker is talking to someone, and they are asking questions. (CD) The speaker seems to be talking to an oppressor. (IC) In the second half, it is more like the speaker is telling the oppressor that the speaker is above them. (CD) This signifies that the speaker has newfound confidence. (CX)

In the first half, there is a rhyme scheme and structured stanzas, while in the second half it is free verse. (CX) The rigidness and structure of the first half signifies that the speaker is sort of trapped in their looking for approval form the oppressor. (CX) The free verse in the second half symbolizes that the speaker has freed themselves and no longer needs to ask for the opinion of the oppressor. (CX)

Another difference between the first and last halves is that in the first the speaker is more formal, and in the second, they are not. (CD) There is a fairly strict structure in the first part of the poem. (IC) In the second, there is no structure, and there are no rules. (CD)

The speaker undergoes several changes in the duration of the poem, which the author shows by changes in formatting. (CX) One change is that the speaker goes from asking to telling. (CX) Another is that the second part is free verse while the first has a rhyme scheme. (CX) One other change is that the speaker goes from seeking approval to announcing that they don’t need it. (CX) The speaker gains more self-confidence. (IC)

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