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by Maya Angelou

Society and Class Theme

Lots of people feel that money can cure everything, but the speaker of "Alone" (and the Notorious B.I.G.) knows differently. She tells us that even millionaires, with more money than they can use, can't make it through life all alone. Money doesn't bring happiness and it doesn't chase the blues way, she argues. In fact, it seems to make some people even lonelier. Loneliness, therefore, is something that everyone, regardless of money or class, copes with. It's a powerful force.

Questions About Society and Class

  1. Why do you think the speaker singles out millionaires in Stanza 3?
  2. Do you think that the millionaire's kids suffer differently than other kids? If so, how?
  3. Do you think that this poem is about all people everywhere? Why or why not?
  4. Does this alone-ness seem to be getting worse in this particular time? Why or why not?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

As it turns out, money actually makes people less fulfilled than other, poorer people.

Money doesn't affect whether or not a person is alone at all.

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