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English Igcse Paper 2 > Still I Rise > Flashcards

Flashcards in Still I Rise Deck (3)
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Opening stanza and metre within it

  • Broadly in trochaic meter ( known as falling meter) as she is being oppressed
  • “Bitter” and “twisted” - plosives . “down” / “trod” - negative force. Resistance to it.
  • In line “But still, like dust, I’ll rise”, the poem is in rising meter: turns negative into positive - extends metaphor / “dirt” → “dust”. “Still” - despite everything, still ongoing

Juxtaposition between her confidence and her treatment by others

  • “Sassiness”, “haughtiness” “Sexiness”
  • “Walk” /”laugh” “dance”
  • “Oil wells” “gold mines” “Diamonds at the meeting of my thighs”
    Compared to:

“Did you want to see me broken?” - past tense / metaphor

‘Bowed head and lowered eyes? - symbolic - subservience → link to slavery

“Shoulders falling down like teardrops,” - emotionally broken and crying

“weakened by soulful cries?” - Trochaic’

  • You may shoot me with your words,
  • You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness” - literal and metaphorical

Escalating list of violent metaphors → link to slavery


Optimism and resilience

  • “Still I rise” - simple present: ongoing / continuous → no end to her resistance
  • “Like dust” becomes “like air”
    Stanza two -“ Just like moons and like suns / with the certainty of tides” - iambic - linking to nature. Inevitability
  • Out of the huts of history’s shame / I rise / Up from a past that’s rooted in pain / I rise / I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide, welling and swelling I bear the in the tide” starts and ends with stressed = symmetrical metre (palindromic → link to cyclical nature - reversal of attitudes) - like a tide. No clear punctuation - allows reader to decide emphasis
  • ” Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise “ antithetical to her position in the beginning (focus on bolded prepositions) and reflects her “rise” / resilience
    “I rise, I rise, I rise” - all stressed, masculine ending (indicative of power)
    ‘You may write me down in history’ contrasts with the ‘Up from a past rooted…’