Compare and Contrast of Alice Walker and Maya Angelou

Topics: African American, Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou Pages: 3 (1122 words) Published: March 12, 2014

Two well regarded and recognized poets, Maya Angelou and Alice Walker, wrote lots of different renowned poetry that is appreciated for its beauty and its truth. Both poets are African American woman, although in different times, many of their words rang true to one other. Their work can be compared and contrasted by understanding the poems, as two separate pieces of work, and then looking at how each are similar and different in their own respects.

Alice Walker grew up the youngest of eight children. She was in an accident as a child that left her blind in one eye. She is best known for her work The Color Purple. Much of her work is focused on Civil Rights for African Americans. In Alice Walker’s poem Remember? she begins by posing a question. Just by the title, the reader begins to believe that this poem is taking place in the past, it may cause the reader to think of another time where they have been asked the question, remember? To paraphrase, the poem begins rather dark, a hate for Walker’s physical appearance, which makes reference to her past time when her eye had been shot by a BB gun. She continues with detest towards her life and the way that she is living her life, "holding their babies / cooking their meals / sweeping their yards / washing their clothes." After these first two stanzas, the poem shifts into a powerful and defiant outlook. She no longer lets this hate for herself, or the hate that comes from the oppression against her skin color to affect her. She turns from looking at the bad times that have struck her life, as moments for possibility for the future.

Walker includes rhetorical question in the title, Remember? There is the use of repetition when she says, “I am the woman” and “I am the girl,” which shows both change and a sense of confidence in who she is. She also uses the metaphor "roots of the flower: justice and hope." As she states that "I am the woman / offering two flowers / whose roots are twin, " we understand that her...

Cited: Clark, Tara. "Alice Walker." Alice Walker. Mark Canada, 1999. Web. 09 Mar. 2014
Tegr, Maja. "Phenomenal Women." Maja RSS. Maja, 2014. Web. 11 Mar. 2014.
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