Still They Rose

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2002

download word file, 7 pages 0.0

If you're male, do you find yourself traditionally superior to females? Or, if you're female, do you still find yourself inferior to males? In the past, it was customary and thought to be that men were more important than females. There were women who timidly accepted the idea, and then there were those who were brave enough to challenge the thought. Since then, females being inferior to males have mostly been outlawed (in some cases it hasn't) and have been replaced with both of them being equal. In both the works of Maya Angelou's "Still I Rise" and Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, the main characters were meant to be looked down upon because they lived in the years when it was tradition for women to be substandard to men. They were either punished for wrongdoings they committed or simply because of the person they were born as.

As shown in both Angelou's and Hawthorne's works, a positive attitude can help one overcome negativity in their lives and lead to success.

Just like most of her poems, Maya Angelou's poem "Still I Rise" was based on her life. It was written around the 1970's, inspired memories of her past. As an African- American, she was born in the 1920's, around the time when racism was still a major issue in American society. Women having the rights to vote barely just happened when Maya was born, so women's rights were still a bit rocky (particularly in the work force, where men had better jobs). Growing up as a child, she moved around a lot, and at some times had to live in poverty. Angelou, having all these tribulations, grew up to be a respected and successful lady. She did what her poem was titled; she rose to the top.