Essay, Pages 2 (317 words)
This is shown in the final stanza when she goes on to say ” I’m the same person I was back then/A little less hair, a little less chin, A lot less lungs and much less wind” . Here she is saying that although people age physically the mind does not have to. She may have the appearance of an elderly person in that her hair has got thinner, her skin is sagging and her lungs do not work as well but her mind is still as attentive alive and eager as it was when she was young.
This saddens the reader because it gives the impression of this young mind being trapped inside an old body unable to do the things she wants it do- showing the misery of old age which is a direct contrast to the views of Joseph who has the opposite view of old age being a time for freedom and to break out of the prison of societies rules.
However Angelou does finish with positivity and determination ” but aint I lucky I can still breathe in” she doesn’t use a question mark which allows her to ask a question that makes the reader think whilst making a positive statement- it is the mind not the body that is important.
The ageing person still has a spirit and a mind, they are still alive and therefore still fully human and just as important as they were when they were young. Both poems address the concept of old age.
joseph has not yet reached old age but talks in positive anticipation of the freedom from society she feels old age will provide her. Whilst in On Ageing Angelou has reached old age and is expressing her upset at the fact that when people look at her they don’t see past the ageing exterior to see the spirit and person she really is.