Compare And Contrast The Presentation Of Oppressionin I Am Not That

1217 words - 5 pages

Compare and contrast the presentation of oppressionin I Am Not That
Woman and Still I Rise.

The poems I am studying are 'I Am Not That Woman' by Kishwar Naheed
and 'Still I Rise' by Maya Angelou, both in the twentieth century.
Both poets have based the poems on their own experiences of
suppression in their different cultures and they both continue to end
with feelings of hope.The poems show the different reactions and
attitudes of two very different women who in similar circumstances. In
'I Am Not That Woman', the poet has been oppressed in her culture of
the Asian society. By this she has been oppressed by the traditional
values of the Eastern culture but especially by her father and
husband. She is also trying to overcome this suppression but is not
really sure where she wants to go next with her life. In 'Still I
Rise', she has been suppressed by the white people of South America
but she has overcome this and thinks of herself as superior to the
white racists. I will begin by discussing 'I Am Not That Woman'.

The main theme to the poem is set in the Asian society, Eastern
culture. Although there is a new theme introduced in every verse, they
all add to the main theme of oppression. The woman is in the situation
of being forced into having an arranged marriage and not having any
freedom because of it. The poet seems bitter towards her father and
husband. She seems strong because she has got through her problems so
far and is angry and resentful about the whole situation. She seems
adamant to not let it happen to her for much longer.

The poem has no structure and no rhyming scheme, therefore written as
free verse. Each verse of the poem is directed towards a certain
person in particular - her father, her husband or both. The woman is
in the situation of being forced into having an arranged marriage and
not having any freedom because of it. The poet seems bitter towards
her father and husband. She seems strong because she has got through
her problems so far and is angry and resentful about the whole
situation. She seems adamant to not let it happen to her for much
longer.

The poet uses figurative language to help create imagery in the
reader's mind. An example of this is the metaphor is 'I am the one you
hid in your walls of stone', where she means how her husband has
literally and mentally locked her away, creating the picture of her
trapped. To show that she had been pressurized of the Asian society of
being forced to have an arranged marriage metaphors are also used
here, 'crushed with the weight of custom and tradition'. The poet even
uses a biblical reference to help picture some of the imagery in the
reader's mind. This is where she says she is 'walking on water' which
is a reference to Jesus and miracles. When she mentions 'not knowing',
she uses this to emphasize the ignorance given to her by her family
and husband. She often repeats herself, such as 'not knowing'. By
doing this she is...

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