How does Maya Angelou's poem, Still I Rise, illustrate or express some form of double vision or two different ways of viewing the same thing?  

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The conditions present in "Still I Rise" help to construct two different visions of reality that coexist in the mind of the speaker, presumably Angelou.  On one hand, there is intensity of rage against the social condition that seeks oppress or silence voices.  Angelou points to this repeatedly in the poem, such as with ideas like a society that wants to see the speaker "broken" or the "huts of history's shame."  These images help to create a vision of reality whereby there is definite social oppression.  Yet, it is precisely this condition that gives way to the vision of defiance and resistance that forms the images of the poem.  Angelou does not shy away from using sexual and provocative concepts to prove the point that the alternate reality to one of oppression and silence is dissent and resistance.  It is here where the second vision of reality is presented and one where Angelou shows that one neednt capitulate to socially repressive forces.  In the heart and mind of the individual lies a voice that can be heard and moreover, must be in order to fulfill one's state of being.

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