Maya Angelou

“Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou, is her portrayal as an African American woman showing society how she feels and the unfair treatment she has experienced. Maya transitions from a state of anger or agitation to defiant. Then, near the end, she acknowledges the changes in society.She rejoices as she reflects on how the African Americans slaves would be ecstatic about the new world and the opportunities that are now available to their descendants. Ms. Angelou writes in a manner like day and night; a roller coaster; a mountain and valley. This means she inclines then declines and repeats throughout the poem. The rises mean she grows in intense anger or mockery. The decrease portrays her feeling enlightened and demonstrates self-confidence. In the beginning, she increases steadily, then levels out in the third stanza.In the fourth she begins a new steady incline and peaks in the sixth before she decreases. She continued this pattern throughout her writing. Maya Angelou demonstrates a lack of concern with the judgements of others and expresses appreciation for the contributing factors represented in the historic events related to her ancestors and race represent to her current perceptions.

Maya’s decrease in her poem is short; an analysis, however, shows the few words she uses are more powerful than anything else in the poem. Some of her most influential lines were lines 7-8 and 19-20. (Lines 7-8) “'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells … Pumping in my living room.” And (lines 19-20), “'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines... Diggin' in my own back yard.” These phrases shows how Maya feels about herself and her opinions; they show the confident and independent side of her and that she values herself in a respectful way. The reason why she mentions oil pumps in her living room is because oil was a valuable possession just like the gold was then and now. Those phrases show that she feels rich; not physically, but in knowledge. Another line that shows a decrease is the thirty-eighth line.This talks about having gifts for her past family members and ancestors. Those gifts are being the model black woman that the slaves dreamed about. Even in a decrease, Maya uses the phrase “rise” in a positive manner.It reflects the strength of character derived from the historic events as well as learning to fight back, self-empowerment, and resilience to fight against oppression.

Maya’s increasing in her intense emotions of anger and mockery creates a mood of passive aggressiveness and disrespect. She creates this mood by using a very important element, rhetorical questions. Altogether, she used six rhetorical questions throughout her poem; this sets the mood of passive aggressive because she projects a sassy attitude from the first question. She, also, indicates she feels disrespected.This is shown in Lines 1 and 2, which say that one can record history with false information that is sour. Also, her repetition of rises starts growing stronger and stronger with each repetition of those words. She uses the word “rise” ten times; in each of those times she uses it to create a fiercer and stronger voice to those who read it.Maya’s pattern of escalation in this poem helps to develop the poem’s theme of learning independence and developing self confidence in the presence of those who would undermine your self-image.

Ms. Angelou’s use of first and second voice in this poem made it more personal.This personalization reflected on both her, as the author, and others of her race and culture who celebrate the progress of society.She voices an empowerment to be true to herself and disregard the opinions of those that would seek to continue the symbolic oppression and slavery which would oppose the right to be proud.In conclusion, Maya Angelou demonstrates a lack of concern with the judgements of others and expresses appreciation for the contributing factors the historic events related to her ancestors and race represent to her current per