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

“Still I Rise” is the study of identity and independence. (IC) Throughout the poem, the speaker has a shift in identity from a victim to an independent adult. (IC) In the first half of the poem, the speaker faces obstacles from the oppressor. (IC) The oppressor represents the antagonist in the poem. (IC) The speaker helps us infer that the speaker is talking to someone directly. (CX) Examples of victimhood are shown in a form of a question as if the speaker is asking for approval from its oppressor, “Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, Weakened by my soulful cries?” (CX) At the end of the poem, the speaker continues to repeat “I rise”. (IC) This proclamation can be interpreted as the speaker loses victimhood and gains self-respect. (CX) This poem can be applied to humans because we face obstacles everyday that are mentally and physically about identity. (CX) Everyone had experience low self-esteem and worried about being accepted. (IC) This is part of life that we experience, but we realize if we accept ourselves, people will accept you more. (CD-CX)

 The speaker changes from a victim to an independent adult. (IC) In the beginning of the poem, the speaker was saying “I’ll rise” as if the speaker is striving for freedom and self-confidence in itself. (CX) At the end, the speaker starts saying “I rise”. (IC) This proclamation indicates that the speaker doesn’t rely on its oppressor anymore, and the speaker gained higher self-esteem. (CD-CX) The oppressor doesn’t intervene anymore, and the speaker shows independence and identity for itself. (CD)

 I don’t think it’s necessary for an author to have to experience a horrible tragedy in order to write a meaningful poem. (CX) I believe that there many other ways to create a meaningful poem. (CX) A meaningful poem doesn’t always have to come with horrible tragedy. (IC) You can write a meaningful poem by inspiration from people, music, or nature. (IC)



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