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Style Analysis

761 words - 4 pages

Accomplishments in life have no race, color, or ethnicity that can define how strong its impact can be. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou was written towards the end of the American Civil Rights Movement representing the division race had upon society at that time. Angelou conveys the meaning of her poem by using a caged bird to represent the struggles she had to overcome with racism growing up as an African American. Angelou uses diction, imagery, and details to show the torture colored people went through in the South.
The word choices Angelou used are to describe herself, represented as a bird, having to deal with unfairness. The author describes this time period she is living in as a “nightmare.” She felt like there was no equality between races. Just because you are a certain type of race or ethnicity does not make you superior over everyone else. In the poem, there are connotative meanings of words such as the word dream. The denotative meaning of the word means images, thoughts, and emotions occurring during certain stages of sleep. The connotative meaning in the poem actually means the feeling of hope and not giving up. She does not know what to expect in the future when she says, “fearful.” When Angelou says, “free,” she tries to compare herself to a Caucasian by wanting to have the same freedom and hopes that one day, equality will be established. Angelou also uses the word “rage,” meaning that they were kept captive from their freedom and their dignity not being able to show or express themselves. The words she used are cacophonous because they have harsh, negative sounding.
Angelou says the bird “leaps on the back of the wind,” creating a vivid picture in the readers mind of a bird soaring freely through the wind. She also creates a calming scenery when she says, “and dips his wings in the orange sun rays.” The bird is feeling calm and has nothing to worry about in his life. To enrich the poem, she uses assonance which is the repetition of the vowel sounds in the middle of a word, “in the orange sun rays and dares to claim the sky his own.” The author...

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