Against All Odds Essay
Prof. T. M.
November 24, 2009
Still I rise: Against all Odds
Maya Angelou is an accomplished African-American author, poet, historian, and civil rights activist in the United States. Growing up in the South, she continues to face greater challenges for both being black and a woman. Most of her literary works, if not all, provide not only messages of oppression, and moments of unhappiness, but have a rich context of triumphs, resilience and hope. Angelou’s poem, “Still I Rise” can be viewed from both cultural and historical perspectives. As a source of inspiration, the poem shows African Americans and women that the human spirit can transcend difficulties. In her poem, “Still I Rise,” Maya Angelou includes sturdy …show more content…
The theme of personal value is not just about accepting your own physical attributes, but inner beauty and self worth. In lines 5, 12, and 25, the speaker asks, “Does my sassiness upset you? / Does my haughtiness offend you? / Does my sexiness upset you?” To enhance the theme of personal value and self worth, the keywords “sassiness,” “haughtiness,” and “sexiness” portray confidence and refer to the hidden treasures of personal value that the speaker, as a black woman, wants to be explored. She wants to be accepted and appreciated for these personal qualities. Moreover, she is letting the oppressor know that if anyone should be offended, it is her. The possessions of these personal values stir up confidence and courage. In subsequent lines, Angelou writes, “'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” (lines 7, 19, and 27). “Oil wells,”