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Woman Work and the Idea of Selfhood
Maya Angelou was an acclaimed writer and civil rights activist who reached a broad audience by means of her functions. Even though she is possibly best recognized for her autobiographical prose, her poetry has changed the landscape of feminist writing, bringing in a new thought of the celebration of self-definition and selfhood as an integral component of the attainment of liberation and agency.
Her poem Lady Function delineates the life of a lady as becoming akin to that of a slave. Even though concept is latent in most of the poem, her conception becomes really overt with the mention of picking cotton. Portion of the poem reads like a list with a breathless pace, an indication of the tedious life of a lady. The rhyme scheme is not normal, but exists in part of the poem to further accelerate the rhythm of the poem. This pace of the poem is representative of the life of a lady, with the woman having no time to quit the list of her performs appears to go on and on. In the following lines, this concept is especially prominent.
I’ve got the kids to tend
The clothes to mend
The floor to mop
The food to shop
Then the chicken to fry
The infant to dry
I got organization to feed
The garden to weed
I’ve got shirts to press
The tots to dress
The can to be cut
I gotta clean up this hut
Then see about the sick
And the cotton to pick. In these lines, the poet delineates the life of a lady. This element of the poem tends to make it look like someone is reading it breathlessly. The operates of the lady variety from her domestic duties, like tending to children and purchasing for food, as nicely as her chores as a slave, like selecting cotton. This shows the sort of life that females, specially black girls, were forced to lead as they were condemned to reside a life in the margins. The idea of double colonization of the third planet woman comes to mind when the reader sees the part about picking cotton. African women had been discriminated against on the basis of race as properly as gender. They have been hence pushed to the extremely fringes of society, stripped of any voice or agency that the “Others” from distinct demographics may well have. The pace of the poem then slows down in the subsequent stanza, and a sense of relief is communicated in the following lines: Shine on me, sunshine
Rain on me, rain
Fall softly, dewdrops
And cool my brow once again. Storm, blow me from here
With your fiercest wind
Let me float across the sky
‘Til I can rest once again. Fall gently, snowflakes
Cover me with white
Cold icy kisses and
Let me rest tonight. Sun, rain, curving sky
Mountain, oceans, leaf and stone
Star shine, moon glow
You’re all that I can get in touch with my own. The speaker lastly seems to find some rest. What is exciting is that it seems like nature is her only escape. Exactly where humankind has doomed her into a life of subservience, nature provides her a catharsis. A single of the really substantial themes that surfaces in this component of the poem is that of the binary of nature and humankind. Nature doesn’t discriminate and supplies the only solace the speaker can look to locate. From this poem, really a few inferences can be produced. It is extremely clear from the lines of the first stanza that the poet wishes to draw a parellel between the life of a lady and that of a slave. both having been marginalized in terms of suffering. So frequently do we neglect that there is an intersection amongst gender-based and racial prejudice. This poet attempts to expose the reality of living a life when one particular is marginalized both because of gender as effectively as race. This woman seems to perform at a breathless pace and appears to find no escape from domestic drudgery. She is bound by the dogmas of patriarchy. There is no life for her outside of the domestic life. Nonetheless, for a woman like the speaker of the poem, there is a bleak sense of escape in nature. She is capable to locate some sort of solace and hence, following she has completed her perform, she escapes her domestic boundaries into nature. Therefore, the poet does not limit herself to gynocentric issues and finds the fine line among different kinds of prejudice. This can be taken as a fierce condemnation of prejudice of every stripe. She delineates the harsh reality of living as the Other, and her critique of the social hierarchy that perpetuates such discrimination and inevitable suffering is evoked in this poem.
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Level: Law School
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