Maya Angelou Essay

1011 words - 5 pages

Sewit Asfaha
Hum 300
11/06/2011
Maya Angelou

•Born: 4 April 1928
•Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri
•Best Known As: Author of I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

Name at birth: Marguerite Johnson

Maya Angelou's 1969 autobiography, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, was nominated for a National Book Award and made her a symbol of pluck and pride for African-American women. In the 1950s Angelou had been a dancer and stage actress, and she was active in the civil rights movement (she became a coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, thanks to a request from Martin Luther King, Jr.). During the 1960s she spent five years in Africa, working as a journalist and a ...view middle of the document...

Although I previously believed that Maya Angelou was talking of herself, I now think that she is not talking of a woman in particular but is addressing all women on being a phenomenal woman.
Repetition, Metaphor, Symbol, Imagery, Personification, Hyperbole
The first connotation I noticed in this poem was its use of repetition and how it put an emphasis on what phenomenal woman is. Also, as she listed what made her a phenomenal woman, I was able to picture the confident woman she was describing and labeled them as imagery. I felt that the two reactions from other women and men were hyperboles (because I don't think the women really would ask nor would men really drop to their knees) to prove her point AS WELL AS symbols because it showed the awe that one would be in in front of Angelou's definition of a phenomenal woman. In the third stanza, "Inner mystery" symbolized confidence. Although this poem did not have a particular rhyme scheme or a consistent rhythm, by using deliberate pauses, I felt a definite flowing rhythm within the poem.
Maya Angelou's tone was that of a strong, confident woman, challenging the stereotypes of what makes a phenomenal woman. It was also that of an encouraging leader, demanding that women be confident in themselves.
Although there seemed to be a shift of setting on all the stanzas, I believe that there were three main shifts throughout the poem. I believe they were divided at the third, fourth, and the last stanza. From the beginning to the third stanza, it was describing how other people saw her and how she responded. In the fourth stanza, she made a statement about exactly she perceived herself and the silent message within those three lines, while in the last stanza, she ends the poem with...

Other Papers Like Maya Angelou

Ishmeal And Maya Angelou Essay

1009 words - 5 pages Ishmeal and Maya Angelou There are many different views on how people should live our lives. All of these different philosophies come from many different places. They come from religions, people's cultures, and their morals that they have been taught. People live by these rules they were brought into from the day they are born and do not question them. In "A Rock, A River, A Tree", by Maya Angelou and Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn, both

Maya Angelou And Alice Walker Essay

1147 words - 5 pages Two well regarded and recognized poets, Maya Angelou and Alice Walker, wrote lots of different renowned poetry that is appreciated for its beauty and its truth. Both poets are African American woman, although in different times, many of their words rang true to one other. Their work can be compared and contrasted by understanding the poems as two separate pieces of work, and then looking at how each are similar and different in their own

Maya Angelou - the Person and the Poet

1007 words - 5 pages Maya Angelou is a very triumphant woman. She has written many books and poems that have given her great success. If one would talk to her, he or she would think she has lead a normal, happy life. Her life is blissful now, but it wasnt always perfect. Maya Angelous sorrowful life experiences inspired her to write autobiographical works of poetry. Maya Angelou was born April 4, 1928 as Marguerite Johnson in St. Louis

"I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" By Maya Angelou: An Analysis On The Use Of Diction Throughout The Story

1103 words - 5 pages We are all familiar with the widespread novel by Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Yet, do we really know? The connotations of the title can drastically alter the perspective of the novel and the meaning it leaves on the readers. Angelou wrote an amazing and entertaining autobiography, about her hard life growing up as a black girl from the South. Among the hardships are her "cages". These are things that keep people from succeeding

"I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" By Maya Angelou

539 words - 3 pages continuity for Maya. Nevertheless, as the plot progressed he became somewhat of a thug. He started becoming an insurgent, staying out late at night with out telling anyone where he was. He jumped on the back of a train and ended up stranded in Baton Rouge. In addition, he became a criminal, stealing from his grandmother's store.As Maya recalled, "We had always taken candy and a few nickels and of course the sour pickle, but Bailey, now called upon to feed

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

1016 words - 5 pages I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings By: Maya Angelou   I think that the book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, was chosen to be on the recommended list of summer reading, because it is about Maya Angelou and her experiences during her childhood. Maya Angelou is an important leader, poet, and author. She was also a very important activist in the civil rights movement.   The book provides us with the perspective on life during

Inspiration

1329 words - 6 pages “Phenomenal Woman” written by Maya Angelou is a poem that every woman can relate to. Angelou explains how she is a confident woman throughout each stanza. Harold Bloom states that “In this Hymn-like poem to women’s beauty, the self-confident speaker reveals her attributes as a phenomenal woman”. Angelou tries to show her confidence in every line of the poem and then states what parts of her body actually shows that confidence and inner strength

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

2567 words - 11 pages I know Why the Caged Bird Sings is an autobiographical account of Maya Angelou that demonstrates how love for literature and having a strong character can play a significant role in overcoming racism and distress. In the course of the story, it is evident that Maya changes from being a casualty of racism to become a young woman with self-dignity and identity that helps her to overcome prejudice. The context of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

To What Extent Does Angelou Achieve Self-Actualisation in ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’

1707 words - 7 pages To what extent does Angelou achieve self-actualisation in ‘I know why the caged bird sings’ ‘I know why the caged bird sings’ is an established autobiographical book which has been written by Maya Angelou, a highly respected woman mostly known as ‘one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time.’ Self actualisation has been described as ‘The motivation to realize one's own maximum potential and possibilities.’ Angelou, by the end

Tension Between Facts And Artistic Intention

1124 words - 5 pages is achieved in the successful presentation of the essay includes a variety of literary techniques. Maya Angelou, in her essay Cotton-Picking Time, painted four pictures for her readers in the short space of two and a half pages. First, she chose her vocabulary carefully in painting the picture of the cotton fields as the plant grew and the cotton bloomed. Her imagery of the plants turning “caterpillar green, then frosty white” touched the

I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings

855 words - 4 pages I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Final Assessment ​“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This is said by Maya Angelou the author of her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Her story talks about all of the obstacles she has suffered through in her life. However, the book may not be completely accurate because when somebody goes

Related Essays

Maya Angelou Essay

1399 words - 6 pages Maya Angelou A poet, an author, a play-write, an actress, a mother, a civil-rights activists, historian and most important a survivor. Perhaps Maya Angelou, award winning author of many books, is one of the most influential African Americans in American history. I believe that she rates at the top of the list of American authors, with Hemingway, Hawthorne, and Voight. I believe through my research and reading of Maya Angelou that she should

Maya Angelou Essay

3056 words - 13 pages Maya Angelou Introduction Leadership is essential for the success of a given group, society, or organization. Through leadership, a particular group of people is directed, mobilized, motivated, and encouraged to perform a given task. Leadership is among the roles of a manager. The manager in this case is a person charged with given responsibilities of handling affairs of a given business venture. At an individual level

Maya Angelou Essay

685 words - 3 pages Dr. Maya Angelou is one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time. Hailed as a global renaissance woman, Dr. Angelou is a celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist. Born on April 4th, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri, Dr. Angelou was raised in St. Louis and Stamps, Arkansas. In Stamps, Dr. Angelou experienced the brutality of racial discrimination, but

Maya Angelou Essay 3

552 words - 3 pages Through the use of identity, Maya Angelou presents herself as a young girl who is confrontational, hopeful, and feels unattractive. Firstly, we can infer that Marguerite (Maya's full name) is a confrontational person. "What you look at me for? I didn't come to stay…" "What you looking at me for? I didn't come to stay…" She is a confrontational person because she is not afraid to stand up for herself, and question those who have been mocking her