Thesis Statement For Still I Rise By Maya Angelou

Angelou’s poem deals with racism in an interesting way.She presents us with an insight into what life was like for a black woman in the social hot bed that was 1950’s America.We see the nasty, vicious side that accompanies racism but she also shows us how the human spirit can triumph and “rise” above even the most horrible aspects of life. Her message is that no matter what her oppressors do to her, she will stand up and fight.

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So, for example, the poet refers to ‘diggin’ in my own back yard', but then also writes; It is this boldness and flexibility that gives the poem its power.

The poem, in its defiance and assertion of power, can be compared to the words of a Peggy Lee song, ‘I’m a Woman’.

Although Lee is white and confines her statement of strength to a woman’s sphere — that of home, sex and motherhood — she challenges the traditional source of power; white men.

She is not the frail, submissive little woman fitting male expectations.

It is the way in which she deals with the subject of racism that allows us to feel a swell of pride in the strength of the woman.

It is the extent of the abuse that Angelou and people like her suffered that allows us to feel proud of the fact that she stood up for herself.

This poem exemplifies the pride she has found by being confident regardless of what others think.

Angelou starts the poem with a stanza describing people's reaction to the woman. They are puzzled by why she is so happy and how other people view her. Angelou uses imagery to give the reader a description of the character's physical appearance.

Also from a young age, she was never considered pretty by others.

As she became older, she allowed this dissatisfaction to grow and she killed it with the sense of pride. After telling her family about the terrible occurrence, the man was killed.

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