Still I Rise-Cushing

Grace Cushing
Ms. Nelson
English 3 Period
February 27, 2012

“Still I Rise”  Theme

        Do you ever feel like your challenges are to much to overcome? In this poem “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou, it shows her perseverance on rising above slavery and racism. The theme of this poem is beating horrific or challenging obstacles throughout life, and moving beyond them.

      The line “But still like dust I rise,” shows people that no matter what obstacles we are going through in life, we will never stop rising. This is a simile that compares the author, and dust; showing the reader that despite any and all challenges, no matter how difficult, you can overcome them. For this reason it shows the theme of perseverance.

      The second line, “Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines/ Diggin’ in my own backyard,” shows us that we should not allow people to see the pain that they inflict upon us. This simile compares the authors happiness, and gold mines in her own backyard. She uses this simile to describe that she is going to be happy under any circumstance, and shows the theme of rejoicement at any point in her life.

      The third and final line I will be discussing is, “You may cut me with your eyes,” which gives the message that some people are going to give you dirty and nasty looks in your lifetime. This idiom states someone’s  eyes as being weapons against the author. She uses this idiom to describe that the way some people look at you can be very hurtful. The theme of this line, is to not allow peoples negative thoughts and opinions to define who you are.

      All of these messages contribute to the theme of this poem, which is, with the right attitude you can overcome anything. This may be important to the reader because, the reader may have obstacles of their own in his or her life. The authors words may give them hope of overcoming their own.


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