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SEMESTER I 2015/2016

HXE 112 READING AND WRITING ABOUT LITERATURE

Tutor :
Dr. Simon Peter Hull
Group Project Assignment :
How Literary Devices and Techniques Function in Different Genres
By :
Daniel Wong Tiong Kong, Reeashwaraan A/L Thayalan
Date of Submission :

Introduction
In this essay, we will be analyzing three texts, which are comprised of two poems,
and one short story. The first poem will be a study of metaphor and language and
form on the poem Still I Rise by Maya Angelou, followed by another similar
study on the poem The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. Moving on, we have
chosen the short story Matilda by Roald Dahl to be our subject on how narrators
and narrative works in the genre of short story.
Maya Angelous Still I Rise: A Study of Metaphor, Language and Form
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard

'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines


Diggin' in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
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 in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.
Summary
Still I Rise is a poem written by Maya Angelou, a famous African-American poet that
tells of the discriminations faced by fellow African-American women in the modern times. The
poem implicitly states that the black African-American women are being discriminated by the
society they live in because of their race and gender. The poet then highlights the need of these
women to endure and maintain positive outlooks, to prevent these circumstances from impeding
their progress towards a better life in the future. In short, this poem presents the strong attitude

and optimism possessed by a woman to voice out against all the discriminations are held against
her, her race, and her ancestors, in her conquest for a better future.
Analysis of the poem
Moving on, we will be focusing on how metaphors function to create meanings to the
texts in the poem. Beforehand, we will need to know its definition. A metaphor, as defined in the
Dictionary of Literary Terms (1999), is a comparison of two objects or feelings without a
connective, such as like, or a verb, such as appears. I.A. Richards in Philosophy of Rhetoric
(1936), distinguished the two parts of metaphor by the terms TENOR and VEHICLE. The tenor
is the idea being expressed, or the subject of comparison, while vehicle is the image by which the
idea is communicated.1
Moving on, an example of metaphors can be seen from the lines I am a black sea, leaping and
wide, welling and swelling I bear in the tide. From here, the metaphorical term a black sea
can have two implied meanings. Firstly, the color black, is often associated with things of
fearful and evil origins, which mean that the ocean could have embodied a series of cruelties and
uncertainties in it. Thus, it can be seen by the readers that the black sea mentioned in the line,
is the vehicle for the life of the persona. The persona could have led a harsh life that is full of
hardships and mishaps, in which she has to struggle against many predicaments that were
subjected at her for being an African-American woman living in America. These predicaments
which stems from the society and directed at the persona, happens irregularly and are sometimes
overwhelming for her ,to the point that it is being likened to feeling of being trapped in an ocean
of calamities.
1 Mohammad A. Quayaum & Rosli Talif, Dictionary of Literary Terms. Petaling Jaya:
Prentice Hall, 1999. r PN44.5 Q2 2000

Looking at the second meaning provided by the same term, the black sea could also be
describing the race of the persona. The black sea may represent the people of her race, vast in
strength and number till they seem to be reaching the far ends of the world. The three terms of
leaping, swelling and welling furthermore reinforces this idea as it can be seen as the
moments of struggle made by the black African-American people against the hardships and
mishaps they faced, stemmed from the racial rejection by the rest of the society, and their final
triumphs after conquering these obstacles. Hence, when the persona referred herself to a black
sea that bears the tide, she is stating her ground to be the voice of her black-skinned people in
their movement to combat decades of injustice treatment passed onto them. She will be the one
bringing in new and ever-changing tides of prosperity which will eventually earn the black
people their freedom from these predicaments.

Roald Dahl Matilda: A Study of Narrators and Narratives


Summary
The short story Matilda is written by Roald Dahl, which depicts the exploits of a young
brilliant girl, named Matilda. Even though she is an extraordinary and brilliant child, she is still
undermined by her parents inability and unwillingness to care for he

Analysis of the Short Story


Before we proceed further with the analysis of narrator and narratives on the short story,
Matilda, we will first look up at the meanings for these two terms: Narrators and Narratives. A
narrator, is one who tells, or is assumed to be telling, the story in a given narrative; with the

narrative being a report of events presented to the listeners or the readers in words arranged in a
logical sequence. A narrative or story which is told by a narrator who may be a direct part of that
experience and he or she often shares the experience as a first-person narrator. Sometimes he or
she may only observe the events as a third-person narrator and gives his or her verdict.2
Generally, the author of Matilda uses a third-person and omniscient point of view to narrate the
story. This type of omniscient narrative is told from the point of view of a narrator which clearly
stands outside of the events in the story, but has the power to know about everything that has
taken place, including the interpretation of the characters inner thoughts and feelings. The
omniscient narrator in Matilda, for example, is able to focus on Matildas thoughts and feelings
of being unloved by her family member, as seen through the lines she [Matilda] resented being
told constantly that she was ignorant and stupid when she knew she wasnt. Moving on, the
adult narrator in the Matilda seems to be a reliable one, as he is intrusive in giving out his
opinions on certain things, like the parents, the students, and the teachers, and Madame
Trunchbull, which makes the readers aware that its a work of fiction by being drawn to the
presence of the narrator.

For the majority of the novel, the author uses a third-person and omniscient point of view to
tell the story. The narrator focuses mainly on Matilda and her thoughts and feelings, but
frequently includes the perspective of other characters as well. This is effective in the
characterization of Matilda as we can understand her motivations and ideas, but we can also
gain insight about what she is like by other characters' perceptions of her. We know that
Mrs. Phelps and Miss Honey, for example, are impressed and amazed by this young girl's
abilities, which allows us to know just how exceptional she is without Matilda herself even
knowing it.

2 Narrative - Examples and Definition of Narrative. (n.d.). Retrieved from


http://literarydevices.net/narrative/

The exception to the third-person and omniscient point of view is found in the first chapter.
Here, the narrator uses the first person, giving his personal perspective on the topic of
children. For example, the narrator says...

(read more)

Bibliography
1) Mohammad A. Quayaum & Rosli Talif, Dictionary of Literary Terms. Petaling Jaya:
Prentice Hall, 1999. r PN44.5 Q2 2000
2) Narrative - Examples and Definition of Narrative. (n.d.). Retrieved from
http://literarydevices.net/narrative/