Alone: Lack of Happiness
Uploaded by mastermo on May 18, 2015
“We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders.” – Maya Angelou. Now imagine a scenario where one man is isolated from the rest of society, having to accomplish all his daily tasks by himself. Slip into this man’s shoes and wonder how it would feel to live a life such as his. Such is this emotion a reader goes through from reading Alone by Maya Angelou. Maya Angelou is a prominent contemporary poet that was well-known for poems such as I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and On the Pulse of Morning. As an African American woman born in the early 1900’s, Maya Angelou went through many hardships during the course of her life and often shares her experiences of those sorrows in her works. In the poem Alone by Maya Angelou, Maya Angelou does not simply make the point that no one can make it through in life alone, but does so in such an impactful manner that she is able to induce vigorous emotional feelings such as sadness and a reflective mood.
Angelou first establishes the main theme by incorporating uses of deep allusions to the bible and also introduces a character that embodies of all mankind. Lines 4-5 of stanza 1 become the most vital part of the stanza, as this is where the allusions are mentioned. After setting up the mood by creating a scenario where Angelou’s character is first lying back and thinking about her life, she immediately goes soul searching and voices her thoughts on life. In these lines, Angelou talks about her wishes in this hunt, saying that she wants to find her “soul a home” (3) “Where water is not thirsty And bread loaf is not stone”(4-5). At first, it seems really confusing because it’s very contradictory for “water” to be “thirsty” since it’s supposed to quench a human being and it’d be weird for “bread loaf” to be “stone.” However, upon further research, one can see that Angelou’s uses of references are actually very strong and hits the heart. These two lines are an irregular use of diction, suggesting that this person’s soul is lost. The protagonist’s life could potentially be upside-down and she is stuck in an alternate universe where “water” is in fact “thirsty” and “bread”...