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GCSE English Essay - I am not that woman and still I Rise comparison

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English Coursework Essay on poem Compare and contrast the representation of oppression in "I Am Not That Woman" and "Still I Rise". In the poem "I Am Not That Woman" the writer Kishwar Naheed expresses her opinion and knowledge on how woman in her culture are treated. Throughout the motion of this poem the writer seems to be trying to send a message to all men - in particular men from her culture and possibly someone from real life experience. The writer is an Asian woman, most likely to be Pakistani considering that this poem was translated from Urdu (Pakistan's national language). She was born in 1940 in the town Bulandshahr which is in India. She was born and brought up in a traditional family where the atmosphere always favoured men over woman. The message she gives through this particular poem is an objection, what is that objection is a mystery soon to be uncovered. It is also interesting uncovering how Naheed expresses her objection through the poem, she does this in an unorthodox but interesting fashion. Straight away from the poem the phrase "I am not that woman" tells us something about the poems purpose. This certain phrase has been mentioned at the beginning, end and most effectively and importantly is the title of the poem. Overall the phrase has been used in the form of repetition and is a phrase that will be remembered and associated with the poem, so in other words this line is effective and important. The actual meaning that the phrase expresses tells us that she is objecting to something. The key word "woman" tells us that she is objecting to something about woman. Going into more detail she possibly may objecting to something that lots of woman are, only by studying the poem further will tell us what exactly she is objecting to. The phrase "I am not that woman" also tells us that she is speaking in first person narrative therefore, shows that the poem is very personal. ...read more.


The poem "Still I Rise" is similar to the poem "I am Not That Woman" by Kishwar Naheed. Both poems stand up for woman's rights. However, although both poems represent oppression, it is expressed in two entirely different ways. The poem "Still I Rise" is written by Maya Angelou who is an African woman born in 1928 in St. Louis. She had many talents such as being a poet, historian, author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director. In this poem she fuses two of her talents of being a poet and a civil-rights activist. The poem "Still I Rise" is basically representing the oppression that a black woman went through during the apartheid. When reading the poem "Still I Rise" the first thing you see is the title, which most obviously is "Still I Rise". This title straightway gives us - the audience the impression that this poem is powerful and meaningful. The title represents the writer's point of view. So straight away the writer has given out a message that she will not be beaten. The first actual line of the poem is "You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies". Straight away the writer addresses to the reader. We know this from the first and keyword "You". The rest of line gives us the impression that this poem has not been directed for any ordinary audience. She somehow creates an angry tone, which could show that this message and poem is directed to someone who has hurt her. The rest of the first stanza reads "You may trod me in the very dirt but still like dust, I rise". This line shows that the reader feels hate towards someone, possibly and most likely someone who has brought her oppression. We also know that she is expressing these feelings of anger from primary experiences, we get this impression from the key word that was used "You may Trod Me in..." ...read more.


This poem is also about a woman overcoming her oppression and showing that there are feelings of hope for the woman mentioned. Similar to "I Am Not That Woman", this poem also has a different theme introduced in every verse to add to the main theme of oppression. The poet seems proud and confident in herself, which you can tell from the title, "Still I Rise". Overall there is a distinct and clear difference and comparison between the ways the two poems represent oppression. Naheed's representation and version of oppression in the poem "I Not That Woman" is the way woman are treated in her culture. In this poem she tells us about the men in her culture. How they control the woman taking away their "chastity" and pride". Woman are not equal to men they are treated as if they are well below them. She tells us about how woman are trapped and suffocated while the men "Roam free as the breeze". This is the basic representation of oppression that Kishwar Naheed has given us through her poem "I Am Not That Woman". In the poem "Still I rise" Maya Angelou's version and representation of oppression is the way she has been treated in the apartheid by racist men. Her oppression has come from the main source racism and slavery. She refers to such points, as that black woman can be just as attractive as any white woman. We got some of this information from the phrase "Does my Sexiness upset you?" Overall this all led me to a conclusion that the comparison in representation of oppression in these two poems is that oppression has been caused by men in both "I Am Not That Woman" and "Still I rise". The difference is that in the poem "I Am Not That Woman", Kishwar Naheed's oppression was particularly caused by religion and culture reasons. Whilst in the poem "Still I rise" the oppression that Maya Angelou felt was mainly from racism and slavery. ...read more.

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