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Overcoming Racism Essay

715 words - 3 pages


Dagmar D’Agostino
July 19th, 2016
Overcoming Racism
My ISU is focussed on the theme of racism. I have selected the poem “Still I Rise” by
Maya Angelou to provide perspective and insight to my chosen topic. Maya Angelou is an
African American poet digging deep into not only the pain racism has caused during the days of
slavery, but her own experiences with modern forms. This poem supports my chosen thesis
sending a strong message to the hearer or reader with the authors use of tone, poetic devices, and
distinct theme to convey overcoming racism.
Maya Angelou has effectively provided several different tones which all tie together to
contribute to the triumphant title and ...view middle of the document...

In stanza nine, the poem reads “Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I
rise into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am
the dream and the hope of the slave.” (33-38) These six lines describe the speaker’s ability to
leave the devastation of her ancestor’s slavery behind to look forward and become the person she
has dreamed of becoming, a success to break through the struggle.
“Still I rise” is rich with devices that emphasize the power in the authors voice. The most
obvious being repetition of “I’ll rise” throughout the first six stanzas and “I rise” reoccurring in
the seventh and ninth stanzas. This use of repetition further proclaims Angelou’s desire to rise
above prejudice and continue to pursue her dreams. This transition of “I’ll rise” to “I rise” also
represents the speaker moving forward. The use of consistent rhyme supports the powerful voice
and unifies each line by completing with words such as eyes, lies, thighs, and surprise. Maya
Angelou uses lines, such as, ‘‘“Cause I...

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