Still I Rise Quotes

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You may write me down in history / With your bitter, twisted lies."
-- Speaker (Lines 1 – 2)

Importance: These lines are essential as they establish the speaker’s relationship with the unnamed “you” that serves as the speaker’s antagonist. The speaker suggests that she is familiar with her opponent, anticipating their moves meant to oppress her. Furthermore, the speaker acknowledges that her antagonist maintains some power to control the historical narrative, thereby suggesting that the antagonist of the poem is likely a predominately white, predominately male society.

Does my sassiness upset you?
-- Speaker (Line 5)

Importance: This line follows the set of questions the speaker poses to their antagonist. Additional questions asked by the speaker are “Did you want to see me broken? / Bowed head and lowered eyes? / Shoulders falling down like teardrops, / Weakened by my soulful cries? (13-16), “Does my haughtiness offend you?” (20), and “​​Does my sexiness upset you?” (25). These rhetorical questions work to show the outrageous ways...

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This section contains 551 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Still I Rise Study Guide
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