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Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

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Jessie Nguyen

on 26 May 2015

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Transcript of Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

Moral/Philosophical
The poem teaches the reader that one can overcome obstacles in life, despite rejections and injustice.
Conveys a sense of confidence
Maya tells the lows and highs of her life
"Up from a past that's rooted in pain/I rise" (Line 31-32)
"Leaving behind nights of terror and fear/I rise" (Line 35-36)
"Does my sassiness upset you?" (5)
"You may kill me with your hatefulness/But still, like all, I'll rise" (23-24)
{Lenses}
Sociological
Biographical
Slavery had been around since 1619 until the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, prohibiting slavery.
However the tension between the blacks and whites was great, creating a series of acts that oppressed the blacks and making them feel inferior (Brunner).

Black codes in 1865
The creation of the Ku Klux Klan in 1865
Jim Crow Laws in 1800s (Brunner)
"Out of the huts of history's shame/I rise" (29-30)
Maya is prideful of being an African American woman, refusing to let her ancestors' past affect her confidence
Diction
Imagery
Syntax
"Does my sassiness upset you?"
"Do you want to see me broken?"
"Does my haughtiness offend you?"
"Does my sexiness offend you?"
harsh-
"Just like
moons
and like
suns
"
- the moon and sun will always rise no matter what
"Shoulders falling down like
teardrops
"
- shows her loss in confidence
"Cause I walk like I've got
oil wells
"
"'Cause I laugh like I've got
gold mines
"
"That I dance like I've got
diamonds
"
- represents her confidence, pride, and value even when society puts her down for being worthless
"like dust, I'll rise"
- dust is usually viewed unwanted and dirty but no matter how much you step on it or brush it away, it will always be there
Simile:
"I'm a
black
ocean, leaping and wide"
- the color black gives a feeling of fear and cruelty
- compares her life to black ocean, revealing horrific events she has experienced
Metaphor:
Interrogative/Rhetorical
- overcome sexism and the oppression of women
- "you" reaches to the readers and causes them to ponder about how they have treated others
Repetition
(21-23)
"I rise"
- emphasizes the brutal punishment
You may
shoot
me with your words,
You may
cut
me with your eyes,
You may
kill
me with your hatefulness,"
{DI
D
ST}
"
"Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
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.
I rise
I rise
I rise.
Maya
Angelou
Vy Chu, Chelsea Lee, Jessie Nguyen, Nikki Nguyen
Poem
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Works Cited
Brunner, Borgna. “African-American History Timeline.”
Infoplease.com. Pearson Education, 2007. Web. 1 Mar. 2014.

Cecil, Kelly. "Maya Angelou 1928-." Uncp.edu. n.p., 1998. Web. 1
Mar. 2014.

Horton, Emily. “Maya Angelou.” Ncpedia. Ncpedia, 1 Jan. 2012.
Web. 1 Mar. 2014.

"Maya Angelou Fast Facts." Cnn. Cable News Network, 4 Apr.
2013. Web. 1 Mar. 2014.

“Maya Angelou: The Poetry Foundation.” Poetryfoundation.org.
Poetry Foundation, 2013. Web. 1 Mar. 2014.

“Maya Angelous Timeline.” Datesandevents.org. n.p., n.d. Web. 1
Mar. 2014.

Sinha, Surabhi. "Ameican Civil Rights Movement." Encyclopedia
Britannica. Encylopedia Britannica, 23 Dec. 2013. Web. 1 Mar. 2014.

Winfrey, Oprah. "Oprah Talks to Maya Angelou." Oprah. Harper
Productions, Dec. 2000. Web. 1 Mar. 2014.


born on April 4, 1928, in
St. Louis, Missouri ("Maya Angelou Timeline")
1931-1935: Parents divorced, which caused issues for living arrangements (Brunner)
1




5




9




13




17




21




25




29



33



37



41


The African American Civil Rights Movement
HISTORICAL EVENTS
Literal Meaning
1955-1968
movement to gain equality and freedom for African american citizens (Sinha)
Maya retells her painful history
"You may write me down in history/With your bitter,twisted lies (1-2).
"You may shoot me with your words,/You may cut me with your eyes,/You may kill me with your hatefulness (21-23).
Maya questions her oppressors
"Does my sassiness upset you?" (5)
"Does my haughtiness offend you?" (17)
Maya is talking directly to the audience of oppressors about how she has overcome the obstacles.
Maya states "I rise" repeatedly to show that she was able to rise even after they have knocked her down (30, 32, 36).
"I am the dream and the hope of the slave" (41)
- this pursuit for equality is influential and inspirational for her poem

(9)
(15)
(7)
(19)
(27)
(33)
(5)
(13)
(17)
(25)
(17)
- overcomes sexism and the oppression of women
- "you" reaches to the readers and causes them to ponder about how they have treated others
- repeating the phrase allows it to stand out among the other phrases
"trod"
"sassiness"
"sexiness"
"haughtiness"
(15)
negative-
- tread: to trample or step on
- shows how people have condescended, crushed, and belittled her
bold-
(3)
- expresses her individuality and boldness
- these characteristics were not normal for AFrican American women at the time but she does not care and wishes to show her true personality
1936: raped by mother's boyfriend, Mr. Freeman, and became mute out of shock (Horton)
1959: Became involved with Civil Rights Movement (Horton)
1964: Angelou worked with the Organization of African American Unity that is led by Malcolm X (Cecil)

(5)
(25)
(17)
Tone
FIGURATIVE Meaning
Rhyme Scheme
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted
lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll
rise
.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with
gloom
?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living
room
.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll
rise
.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered
eyes
?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful
cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful
hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back
yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your
eyes
,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll
rise
.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a
surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my
thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I
rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I
rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and
wide
,
Welling and swelling I bear in the
tide.
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.
I
rise
I
rise
I
rise.
Scanned Poem
Rhythm:
trochaic/dactylic tetrameter

You

may
write
me
down
in
his
to
ry
With
your
bit
ter,
twist
ed
lies,
You
may
trod
me
in
the
ve
ry
dirt
But
still
, like
dust
, I’ll
rise.

Does
my
sas
si
ness
up
set
you?
Why
are
you
be
set
with
gloom
?
‘Cause
I
walk
like
I’ve
got
oil
wells
Pumpi
ng i
n
my
liv
ing
room.

Just
like
moons
and
like
suns,
With
the
cer
tainty
of
tides,
Just
like
hopes spring
ing
high
,
Still
I’ll
rise.

Did
you
want
to
see
me
bro
ken?
Bowed
head and
low
ered
eyes?
Shoul
ders
fal
ling
down
like
tear
drops.
Weak
ened
by
my
soul
ful
cries.

Does
my
haugh
tiness of
fend
you?
Don’t
you
take
it
aw
ful
hard

Cause
I
laugh
like
I’ve
got
gold
mines
Dig
gin’
in
my
own
back
yard.

You
may
shoot
me
with
your
words
,
You
may
cut
me
with
your
eyes
,
You
may
kill
me
with
your
hate
ful
ness
,
But
still
, like
air
, I’ll
rise
.

Does
my
sex
i
ness
up
set
you?
Does
it
come
as
a
sur
prise
That
I
dance
like
I’ve
got
dia
monds
At
the
meet
ing
of
my
thighs
?

Out
of the
huts
of
hist
ory’s
shame
I rise
Up
from a
past
that’s
root
ed in
pain
I rise
I’m
a black
o
cean,
leap
ing and
wide
,
Well
ing and
swell
ing I
bear
in the
tide
.
Leaving
behind
nights
of
ter
ror and
fear
I rise
In
to a
day
break that’s
won
drously
clear
I rise
Bring
ing the
gifts
that my
an
cestors
gave
,
I
am the
dream
and the
hope
of the
slave.
I rise.
I rise
I rise
This poem conveys an
assertive, confident
tone.
"You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise."
(3-4)
This quotation displays the bravery that Maya evokes to the readers through the relations of dust. She relates her to the qualities of dust by comparing how they both "rise" no matter what happens. The emphasis of this statement conveys her strong sense of self-confidence after embracing her past of prejudice such as racism, leaving the tone of empowerment and resilience.
In addition, she emphasizes her similarity with the dust, demonstrating how dust is on the ground. This exemplifies the dust's lack of importance; however, the dust is still able to avoid being swept away by "rising" to the air, encompassing the African Americans being under appreciated in society.
Pink = Stressed
Black = Unstressed
1936: Maya Angelou is raped by her mother's boyfriend (Cecil)
-In her interview with Oprah, Angelou describes this traumatic experience influential to her writing and poetry (Winfrey).
"Up from a past that’s rooted in pain/I Rise"
The "you" that Maya speaks to refers to the whites, addressing the problem of racism
(31-32)
"I am the dream and the hope of the slave" (40).
"You may tread me in the very dirt/But still, like dust, I'll rise" (4).
Firsthand experiences in racism and injustice
"You may trod me in the very dirt"
(3)
She expresses the value of herself which is equal to others
"That I dance like I've got diamond" (27)
"'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines" (19)
Growing up as a young African American girl, Maya Angelou overcomes numerous dismaying experiences and events. The difficulties that maturing hauls has shaped Angelou's outlook; this, in turn, has greatly influenced her writing.
THEME
One can overcome the hardships through inner strength and pride.
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