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With Close Reference To A Maximum Of 40 Lines Of Verse, Discuss The Idea That Angelou Explores The Ideas Of Freedom And Equality

1018 words - 5 pages

For the purpose of this essay I am going to analyse how Maya Angelou explores the ideas of freedom and equality in the poem ‘Equality’. ‘Equality’ is a poem about discrimination and injustice in society, unfair treatment and suffering. In the poem Maya Angelou talks about the need for equal opportunity, fairness and justice in society-freedom and equality. This poem was written in the time where in America blacks and whites were segregated, so this was a big ethical issue at the time. Maya Angelou felt the need to express her feelings in her poems and ‘Equality’ is one of those poems.

In ‘Equality’ Maya Angelou explores ideas of freedom and equality as she talks about an oppressor and ...view middle of the document...

Maya Angelou uses the repetition of “Equality, and I will be free” to great affect as it shows that she is beating out the message to us the reader and the oppressor, so therefore there is no way we can hear her “faintly”. The repetition of the message “Equality, and I will be free” shows lack of freedom. Angelou shows us the importance and the depth she goes into to explore equality and freedom in this poem that both of the words “equality “ and “free” are used within the repeated message.

Angelou also uses techniques such as the rhetorical question of “but if I’m just a shadow to you, could you ever understand?” this shows Angelou trying to get the reader to think about the question being asked. To me what Angelou is trying to say is that because the oppressor sees her as not being equal how could he ever understand her and her people. The only way the oppressor could understand is if he sees her as being equal and gives her and her people the equal opportunities and rights as him and then society will be able to move forward. There is also rhyming in the poem, but no rhyme scheme just made up of random rhymes.
The sentence “We have lived a painful history, we know the shameful past, but I keep marching forward, and you keep coming last.” is an enjambment to show the actual forward marching of her movement and their perseverance will carry them through and win whereas the oppressor will “keep on coming last.” This shows that despite the humiliating history it’s time to move forward and look to the future where “Equality” will happen and she and her people “will be free” Angelou uses “will” as it is indefinite to show that through all the trouble her and her peoples been...

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