Maya Angelou Stories Essay Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 18 September 2016

Maya Angelou Stories Essay

Maya Angelou, within amazing stories has revealed the importance of perseverance, staying strong in moments of struggle, having the will to overcome difficulties, as well as having dreams that sometimes seem unreachable and yet believing that it is a gift to survive. In many of her motivating quotes, she expresses, “I’m always inspired by men and women who rise…That ability to rise is nobleness of the human spirit.

This clearly displays how her optimism in life has made her rise when fallen and has helped her make life teaching contributions by writing stories and poems that become valuable for all humans to endure life’s rough path also helping readers see life with a different perspective. In the stories, “I know why the Caged Bird Sings”, “New Directions”, and in the poems “Caged Bird” and “Woman Work”, Angelou has written about many of her own experiences and taught us what humans will encounter, “fail at, dream, and still survive. ” Even the ones who have suffered the most have a lot to teach.

The story, “I know why the Caged Bird sings” and poem, “Caged bird” are important comparison regarding Angelou’s lesson. These contents are both similar since in the story, Angelou observes how all the cotton pickers long freedom making it a metaphor to caged birds in a way that all they want is to be free and able to fly. Most commonly, they both share the same feeling of being lost and trapped and lack the same rights as the ones that are free. The caged bird represents the cotton pickers and the African Americans meaning that they cannot have freedom and are ensnared in a world of no rest and hard work, regarding their colored skin.

This shows how the cotton pickers and caged birds have dreams that sometimes even seem unreachable and impossible to defeat since they never even had the chance to think that someday, freedom would form part in their lives. Angelou reveals throughout these selections, how people faced hardships growing up in the segregated south. This story also shows Angelou’s true account of growing up as the poem connects to the way she probably felt as she experienced difficulties.

She recites, “The sounds of the new morning had been replaced with grumbles bout cheating houses, weighted scales, snakes, skimpy cotton and dusty rows. In later years I was to confront the stereotyped picture of gay song-singing cotton pickers with such inordinate rage that I was told even by fellow Blacks that my paranoia was embarrassing. But I had seen the fingers cut by the mean little cotton bolls, and I had witnessed the backs and shoulders and arms and legs resisting any further demands. ” This clearly illustrates how hard everything became and how the only thing she could do to bring her hopes up and release her anger, was sing, just like the caged bird.

Angelou says in her poem, “the caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom. ” Indeed, as Angelou? s feelings relate to the caged birds’ feelings, all they could ask for was freedom. In the selection, “New Directions,” Angelou as the speaker is very motivational in what life may teach to people and how they should deal with certain outcomes of failure. She is a persevering woman that always looks forward for what good is to come and is very conscious about difficulties she may encounter in the way.

This story shows how life has many courses from which people can choose and sometimes there are possibilities of getting lost or going the wrong way but what she tries to display and let people interpret is that no matter how many ways one turns, or how many times one gets lost, it is never too late to change direction and strive for success. Clearly, failure is an important step that leads to success; it all depends on one? s attitude towards achieving it. Angelou really shows the value of perseverance and how humans should encounter problems.

She says, “She had indeed stepped from the road which seemed to have been chosen for her and cut herself a brand-new path. In years that stall became a store where customers could buy cheese, meal, syrup, cookies, candy, writing tablets, pickles, canned goods, fresh fruit, soft drinks, coal, oil, and leather soles for worn-out shoes. ” This displays a great example on how she failed in many jobs, took different paths, but with will and tenacity ended up with her own perfect stall that finally succeeded and made her feel proud.

To achieve goals, humans have to turn many ways which sometimes will be full of rocks and others full of flowers until they find their own piece of land and make up their garden. This is what Angelou reveals with this great selection. A good mother does not only care for her child, guide him all way through, pay for his education but keeps on working until sometimes rest is not even part of their lives due to all the duties and responsibilities that are far more important than rest.

This next poem, “Woman Work” expresses in detail how even though some people work the entire day with almost no hours of sleep and rest, still survive. Angelou illustrates how the only thing some humans desire is to rest while others complain about working for a few times a day or even a few times a week or month. This deeply reveals how hard life can be for some people that do not even ask for luxurious gifts but for the gift of rest only.

In this poem, Angelou tries to convey how the woman feels by listing various activities making it seem never ending by the use of rhythm. She states, “Storm, blow me from here with your fiercest wind let me float across the sky ‘Til I can rest again. ” This shows how the woman even sees the serenity in life as an unreachable goal. It is deeply a strong theme of how the ones who have freedom and have the necessary money to live have to be grateful while others, who do not, are entirely grateful for few hours of rest.

To conclude, Angelou was not only a woman who went through many hard times as a child and further on learned life lessons, but is a woman to venerate and thank for great contributions that she has made by her amazing written selections; both poems and stories that help readers build their own perspective of life in general. To display these contents, within her stories and poems, she used many metaphors, rich language, rhythm and descriptive actions that bring the audience into the readings and make them feel as if they were living it themselves.

They once said anonymously, “Sometimes you have to get knocked down lower than you’ve ever been, to stand up taller than you ever were. ” This quote defines the rule of life. To rise, everyone has to have fallen. Every time life brings people down, life itself teaches them to come back up with perseverance and handling problems properly. All themes that Angelou reveals are lessons that will only make humans fly freely, sing higher and rise into better persons granting them the choice of what direction to go and what path to build.

Free Maya Angelou Stories Essay Essay Sample


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  • University/College: University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 18 September 2016

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