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Other cultures poetry

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Introduction

Other cultures poetry "Ain't I a woman?" which was written by Sojourner Truth in 1854 and Maya Angelou's poem "Still I rise" which was written in the 20th century both deal with the themes of racism and inequality between white and black people and especially white and black women. The first poem is Sojourner Truth's, which asks why she wasn't treated like a woman throughout the speech "Ain't I a woman?". The two main themes she looks at are the themes of racism and inequality she gives examples throughout the poem that show that women have no rights and the poem questions the morality of why she does not have these rights. Sojourner Truth was born into slavery and therefore had no real education and throughout the poem she highlights this using non-standard English - "Ain't I a woman?" She has a deep Christian faith from her childhood and she expresses this at the end when talking about how Christ was from a woman and man had nothing to do with him. In this poem she addresses a wide audience because this poem was originally as a speech for a woman's conference there would have been numerous people at this conference including men, women, blacks and whites. ...read more.

Middle

she talks about how people make up lies and put her down "your bitter twisted lies" she uses personal pronouns to make the reader guilty for her plight and therefore more sympathetic. The second stanza talks about her confidence and power "oil well pumping in my living room" this use of imagery is very powerful as oil was and still remains a very expensive material. The third stanza is used to make her point that she cannot be stopped using the line "just like the moons and the suns" and she goes on to say "with the certainty of the tides" she uses nature as it is the only thing that cannot truly be stopped. She backs this up like she has done with many of the other stanzas by using the phrase "still I rise" this line is assertive saying no matter what I will rise. The fourth stanza relies on the theme of pain and suffering talking about how she feels people want her to be treated again using personal pronouns to make the reader feel guilty she uses past tense to make the reader feel guilty for what they may have done. ...read more.

Conclusion

Ain't I a woman uses verbs right from the start describing how white women should be treated using the verbs "helped", "lifted" and how they "need" and the use of verbs continues throughout the poem when describing Truths tasks "Plowed" and "gathered" etc all of which are tasks commonly set to men as opposed to the violent verbs used in Still I rise such as "cut", "shoot" and "kill." Both poems have very strong endings; Angelou repeats the line "I rise" three times after rallying people with the word "I am the dream, the hope of the slave" whilst Truth tells her readers to work together. Still I rise was more a vent of anger whereas Ain't I a woman was open and it seemed like she was revealing her inner most secrets. It was for that very reason that I preferred Ain't I a woman as I found it therefore easier to sympathise with her than In Still I rise as it felt as if sympathy was almost forced on you despite the fact that Truth used less personal pronouns the imperatives she used grabbed my attention and she kept my attention by discussing personal issues that were very intimate. ...read more.

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