by Maya Angelou
Alone Theme of Isolation
Lonesomeness is something that all humans (no matter who they are or where they live) know well. In a way, it connects us. However, the speaker of "Alone" warns that we cannot go through life all by our lonesome selves. Life will swallow us whole unless we've got family, friends, or a community of some kind to help us through the hard times.
Questions About Isolation
- Does the speaker ever actually say that the millionaire is alone? How do we know that he fits into the same category as the speaker?
- Do you think that the speaker is talking to an audience in this poem? If so, who?
- How many times does the word "alone" appear in this poem?
- Why do you think Angelou says "nobody can make it all alone" instead of something like "everybody needs other people"? What is the difference between these two phrases?
Chew on This
Although "Alone" seems to worry that people are isolated, the poem itself actually breaks out of isolation by addressing other people.
There isn't any solution to the isolation described in this poem.