Angelou hopes that she and her son will find a land freed of the racial bigotry she has faced wherever she has lived or traveled. Hopeful and idealistic, she sets herself up for disappointment and disillusion. During her three-year stay in Africa, she is not welcomed as she has expected to be; even more painful, she is frequently ignored by the very people with whom she thinks she shares roots, the Africans. As she tries to understand this new kind of pain and homelessness, she also struggles with the sense of having two selves, an American self and an African self.
A stunning example of this struggle occurs when the black American community in Ghana, together with some sympathetic Ghanaians, decides to support the August 27, , March on Washington—the march led by Martin Luther King, Jr.
The march does not have the impact its participants hope it will have because the demonstrators, including Angelou, are ambivalent about who they are, where they are, and where their quest for security is leading them. This ambivalence is dramatized when one of the marchers jeers a black soldier who is raising the American flag in front of the American embassy, prompting Angelou to reflect on the fact that the Stars and Stripes was the flag of the expatriates and, more important, their only flag.
The recognition of her divided self continues during the remainder of her stay in African, including during time spent with Malcolm X. The volatile activist has a profound impact upon Angelou, who had met him two years earlier but who sees him and hears his words from her current context of an orphan looking for a home and looking for reasons to stay in that home.
As she observes the various personalities Malcolm X exhibits—from big-brother adviser to spokesperson against oppression and for revolutions—she reflects upon his commitment to changing the status quo in the United States. Ultimately, Angelou is compelled to return to the United States. She leaves, having become aware that home is not a geographical location but a psychological state.
Shortly after she lands in California, he is assassinated before her work with him can begin. Her brother takes his grief-stricken sister to Hawaii, where she sings in nightclubs, with no notable success. Therefore, she is not surprised by the outbreak of violence and senses the riots before she learns of them.
We smelled the conflagration before we heard it, or even heard about it. Burning wood was the first odor that reached my nose, but it was soon followed by the smell of scorched food, then the stench of smoldering rubber. We had one hour of wondering before the television news reporters arrived breathlessly.
After a stormy encounter with her former lover, Angelou returns to New York, where she meets Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. However, history repeats itself. Before she can go south for the movement, King also is assassinated. Again devastated, Angelou becomes a recluse until writer James Baldwin invites her to a dinner with glittering New York literati that reawakens her passion for writing.
Friends encourage her to write and to begin by writing her life. Eventually, Angelou moves back to California and, in an effort to make spiritual sense of and triumph over her experiences, begins to write. A Song Flung Up to Heaven ends with her writing the first few lines of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings , opening the gate to her most important career and yet circling back nicely to her first, most beloved book. A Song Flung Up to Heaven engrosses the reader with its portrait of a sensitive woman caught up in some of the most important events of the twentieth century.
It is also compelling because of its simple yet poetic and intimate style. Angelou recounts her story as if confiding to a friend. Her literary devices enliven the prose, such as when she personifies the strangling effect of hopelessness: Needed like an extra blanket?
Like more pepper for soup? I resented being thought of as a thing. By the time the book ends, the reader is touched and sad, yet inspired. A Song Flung Up to Heaven somehow suggests that if Angelou can transcend such dire circumstances, perhaps others can too.
This poem speaks of the importance of human beings joining together, in hope, to create and greet the future. Only the second poet to read at a presidential inauguration, Angelou has said this about her poem: The River sings a similar song, calling humans to its riverside but only if they will forego the study of war. Thus united with Rock, River, and Tree, the poem announces, the human race can look toward a future of peace and connections and away from a past of brutality and discontinuity.
In the final stanza, this paean of praise is most lyrical:. If all caged birds sing together, this poem asserts, then the human race will indeed survive. Autobiography In this self-portrait, Maya Angelou narrates her childhood in Stamps, Arkansas, and her adolescent years in California.
This was the outcome of a poem read by her class valedictorian, Henry Reed. She put aside all the awful remarks made by Mr. Donleavy and rejoiced with the encouraging words given by Henry Reed. She was proud of her race and proud to be graduating due to her full academic accomplishments.
It was able to fully demonstrate the literary element of tone. In my opinion, the message in this story is that we should all be proud of who we are, what we do, and where we come from. Pay less attention to what others say or think about you, and worry more about what you think and what you want to accomplish.
Accessed September 14, Leave your email and we will send you an example after 24 hours If you contact us after hours, we'll get back to you in 24 hours or less. Anticipation Imagine how it would feel to have someone of another race speak at your graduation and put your race down. How to cite this page Choose cite format: Graduation 69 , Maya Angelou How about make it original?
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"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".
The works of Maya Angelou encompass autobiography, plays, poetic, and television producer. She also had an active directing, acting, and speaking career. She is best known for her books, including her series of seven autobiographies, starting with the critically acclaimed I Know Why the .
- This seminar paper will look at a poem written by Maya Angelou, Still I rise, An analysis of this poem will be provided, exploring the meaning of the poem and the language used to present a certain image to the audience. “Dr. What is a summary of the poem "On Aging" by Maya Angelou? Maya Angelou represents not only the black woman but any woman who desires a better life. As the first black American woman to speak at .
Maya Angelou - Research Paper. 9 Pages Words December Saved essays Save your essays here so you can locate them quickly! Maya Angelou, an African American poet, wrote the poem "Africa" about the tragic events held by the European men who invaded Africa. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers. You can view samples of our professional work here. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this.