Sonia Sanchez Writing Styles in An Anthem

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Repetition

Sanchez uses two literary devices of repetition in “An Anthem” to underscore images and ideas that are central to the poem’s meaning. The first device is anaphora, a type of parallelism. Anaphora is repetition of the same word or words at the start of two or more sentences. Walt Whitman famously uses it in Leaves of Grass. In “An Anthem,” Sanchez uses it to create thematic and structural unity. The sentences in the second and third stanzas begin with “we” just as lines 21–23 repeat “are we not.” These chant-like repetitions create a strong sense of unity or solidarity. It is the speaker’s way of saying that “we” are not going away and “we” need to be heard. The central idea of the poem is one of protest, of in-the-street chanting, and...

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This section contains 617 words
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Buy the An Anthem Study Guide
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