Poem Analysis

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Poem Analysis
Written by Maya Angelou, “Still I rise” is an empowering and influential poem that is
mainly about overcoming injustice and prejudice. The author who was born in 1928 lived
through some worst inequality and oppression toward the African American people whom she
was. She saw the effects of such treatment on persons and decided to take some action to
empower through her limerick; that one would not permit the society’s hatefulness to define their
own success. Therefore, “Still I Rise” is not only Maya’s declaration to rise above the societal
challenges but also a call for everyone to live above what the society expects. The poet puts
confidence in somewhat like what does not kill her makes her stronger in the end; she cares not
about racism, hatred and the likes as long she knows she can still prosper and then she is capable
and beautiful too. The paragraphs below discuss the analysis of the poem in detail.
The poem speaks to the oppressed in the society, the racial minority’s fights, it revives
their dead life being they have nothing good as far as history is concerned; and although the
poem is in general to the vulnerable in the society, for this case it ignited the African Americans.
The poem, published in 1978, a time when racism was still at its heights, encourages the
discriminated. In stanza six line three, the reading goes, "You may kill me with your hatefulness"
(Angelou); together with the first stanza when says "you may tread me in the very dirt" try to
prove there is an existing prejudice.
In the poem, racism exists as seen in the above paragraph; where there is the speaker
admits prejudice and discrimination. On the other hand, a bit of ethnicity to exists; the poet talks
about her ancestry, she admits having a hut of history's shame. The article, therefore, brings life
to the struggles of racial minorities such as to have confidence in their beauty, believe in them to
rise and compete with the whites, and fights to correct the shameful history; all these the poem
blames the whites for spreading lies and fighting for the downfall of the African Americans.
A very harsh part of the history of America is brought to light, where the blacks had no
equality and were segregated for a long time. Maya is straightforwardly telling the oppressors
that she is living the hopes of the slave; a statement to show the slave owners that she has
overcome all the odds to be successful. The slave owns are responsible for the slavery and
stagnation bring a shameful history to the ancestry history of the speaker. A major conflict
underlying in the article is between the speaker and the society who like seeing her knotted to the
past and her personal success offends them. The people want her to remain down because she is
a woman and moreover a black.
The racial minorities in the poem suffer a number of setbacks hindering their struggle to
live in a society they desire for equality in every aspect. The ancestors didn't do much to liberate
them put left them in huts of shame. They also are unable to find confidence; are they beautiful
or not? Again, they are subjected to wrongful written lies smirching them together with violence,
‘treading.’ Apart from racism, they suffer from economic inability. The poet proves this point by
declaring she has goldmines in case the society wanted to know her reason for haughtiness.
A number of theories apply in this poem. Conflict theory exists when the speaker has a
battle with the society that loves seeing her down and failing to succeed. Secondly is feminism
theory where the author is a woman is not expected to raise her voice to speak but she does; there
is also her struggle to prove her beauty. In terms of structural theory which to exists, the society
is made up of slave owners, the individuals discriminating with the others writing soiling
materials. The society is also structurally made up of people looking at the beauty vs. the ugly,
the rich vs. the poor. The deficiency theory which is also exhibited when the speaker says she
comes from a history of shame; it strives to encourage the minority group to look away from the
dominant group, structure, and class but affect basic changes. Conclusions of intelligence and a
genetic measure of knowledge and education are disapproved by the writer. She comes from a
society nothing good to record but defies the odds and become very intelligent to rise where
many cants.
In Takaki’s analysis, a different perspective of slavery and ownership is presented.
Discrimination another view that does not necessarily mean towards minority but towards “us vs.
them” or “we vs. they” (Takaki, 2008). One is born in a group who from the society as he grows
learns to view themselves as the rights while the “them” as wrong. An example is when the
Puritans legitimized their aggression towards the Indians only after seeing them as born of the
devil or savages. According to Takaki, status or class does not really determine whether one is
discriminative but being in power gives the authorities ability to block minorities from rights of
their pursues. A new definition of America’s society is it is a sinkhole of futile hopes and wasted
efforts. Whiteness, therefore, is defined by being able to be able to overcome prejudices.
The paper has discussed the poem “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou that is structured in a
different perspective of the racial minorities that aimed at liberation. It’s through the views of the
author that means overcoming the prejudices and any odd start from one’s psychological state; it
doesn’t matter past. A brief look at the sociological theories applying in the context such
deficiency, structural, feminism, and conflict are imparted. Lastly, Takaki's views give a
different but very significant viewpoint especially on the Americans’ side that oppressed; that at
some level aims to vindicate the whites.
Works Cited
Angelou, Maya. Still, I Rise a book of poems- poetryfoundation.com (1978).
Allan, Kenneth. Contemporary social and sociological theory: visualizing social worlds. Pine
forge press. Pp. 10- ISBN 978-1-4129-1362-1- 2006.
Spacey, Andrew. Analysis of poem “still I rise” by Maya Angelou: location- 2018
Takaki, Ronald. Ethnocentric mentality: a different mirror, history of multicultural America.

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