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What is the tone and theme of Maya Angelou's poem "Still I Rise"?

  • poetry -

    Theme. Strength of black women, or belief in oneself.
    Tone. Hope? Pride?

    What do you think?

  • poetry -

    Both the tone and the theme are summed up in her last lines:

    "I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
    I rise
    I rise
    I rise. "

    http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/still-i-rise/

    What do you think? I'll be glad to discuss it with you if I know your thoughts first.

  • poetry -

    " I am the dream and the hope of the slave." Refers to the woman the speaker has become (powerful and confident) which African American slaves aimed to obtain after all the inequalities and discrimination they experienced.

    So theme = In a society that limits one's self-worth, with perseverance, one can overcome and triumph.

    Am I on the right path...?

  • poetry -

    Yes! :-)

    I think it also refers to the attitudes of some slaves even before they were emancipated. Angelou says that in a way slaves (or at least some slaves) were thumbing their noses at their masters behind their backs. She says that no one could keep their spirits down.

  • poetry -

    Would you agree "Still I Rise" also has autobiographical undertones such as Angelou's rape? Could "Does my sassiness upset you?: (5) and "Does my sexiness upset you?" (25) express her finally finding confidence in her sexuality/ sensuality (because she felt guilty in her own rape for so long)?

  • poetry -

    I'm sure you're right.

  • poetry -

    ok thanks!

  • poetry -

    You're welcome.

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