...ce of social gender departure releases her from oppression that came with emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. The significant change from her passive self to a feminine assertiveness develops out of her encounter with the people and events that goes against traditional views of social acceptance as it breaks common views on behavior and attributes. The development allows Celie to identify the people around her as the people she loves and care for, essentially becoming her people. The Color Purple becomes a contemporary text that becomes relatable to issues of identity and acceptance as well as addresses the existence of the continuing problem. Just as Celie says at the end of the novel when she narrates the conservation she shared with Mr. ____, the ability to “live her life and be herself no matter what” becomes a capability to her and the other characters.
Longing for the freedom that the beautiful blue-eyed white bird holds, the ugly black bird violently throws herself against the bars that ensnare her. After countless failed attempts, the black bird eventually understands that her cage is her identity. Believing her femininity and African American race are the cages that capture her, Maya Angelou relives the unfortunate incidents of her life in her 1969 autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. At age three, Marguerite (Maya) and her brother Bailey are abandoned by their divorced parents and sent to live with their paternal grandmother and crippled uncle in the strongly racist and rural town of Stamps, Arkansas. From refusal to receive dental treatment, to being told Blacks only amount to maids and handymen at her eighth grade graduation, racism sinks its way into Maya’s spirit. A turning point occurs when their father unexpectedly arrives in Stamps and leaves them in St. Louis, Missouri with their mother. At just eight years old, Marguerite is sexually abused and raped by her mother’s boyfriend, who is ironically named Mr. Freeman. Although found guilty, Mr. Freeman is killed one night. Maya is overwhelmed with guilt for his death, and withdraws from everyone but her brother Bailey. She is allowed to spend a summer her teen years with her father, and after verbal abuse, becomes homeless for a short period. At the end of the summer, she goes back to live with her mother and just before graduating high school becomes pregnant. The book ends with the acceptance of her child and the realization that the love she yearned for from her parents is one that she can now give. By boldly sharing her intimate experiences, Maya Angelou uses imagery, characterization, and symbolism to ce...
It is through letter writing that the power of communication is emphasized. Celie's absence of bitterness for the way she has been treated allows the reader to empathize and perhaps feel the outrage she does not. We feel very acutely her positio...
Hope is an attribute in life that many people cling to. It gives people courage and reasons to continue striving in everyday life, especially in the toughest of times. The autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou, published in 1969, followed Angelou’s childhood growing up in the South as a minority, the problems that she faced because of that, how she overcame those problems, and how she still found hope. The theme represented in this autobiography is that in every storm faced in life it may feel like there’s nothing left; however, there will always be hope that can still be found.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Maya Angelou's novel is a classic tale of growing up black in the American South in the 1930s and 40s. Even though Marguerite's and her brother Bailey's childhood and early youth are probably far from typical for the average black family of that time, the book nonetheless can be read as a parable of what it meant and still means to be a black person in an overwhelmingly white society. The story is told from a "black" point of view and is thus a more "politically correct" representation of race relationship and prejudice than Harper Lee's equally famous To Kill a Mockingbird.
Whitaker, Charles. "Alice Walker: 'Color Purple' author confronts her critics and talks about her provocative new book." Ebony, May 1992, p. 86+. General OneFile, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A12290929/ITOF?u=wylrc_wyomingst&sid=ITOF&xid=fadfb6f0. Accessed 28 Nov.
The book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is the 1969 autobiography about the early years of writer and poet Maya Angelou. It is the first of six volumes about Maya’s life and the hardships she faced growing up and even in adulthood. This book covers the years from the early 1930's, up until about 1970. Out of the six, it is probably the most popular and critically acclaimed volume, it is a coming-of-age story that illustrates how strength of personality and a love of literature can help overcome racism and trauma. All of her volumes center around the themes of family, self-discovery, and motherhood, though in expressions of writing fashion and plot each of the books are different. At the beginning of the book abandoned by their parents, three-year-old Maya and her older brother, Bailey, are sent to live with their grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas, and as the book ends Maya becomes a mother at the age of 17. Throughout the course of the book, lessons are taught and learned and Maya is totally changed from a victim of racism with an inferiority complex into a self-confident, distinguished young woman competent of responding to discrimination.
In her autobiographical novel, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou relates her story as a poor black girl living in racially segregated Stamps, Arkansas. As the story unfolds, she describes relationships with her family and members of the community, her love of reading, her feeling of inequality, the racial prejudice she suffers, and her experiences as a single mother. What makes Angelou heroic is her perseverance over a multitude of odds. In the beginning of the novel, the reader learns that Angelou is living with her grandmother because her birth mother abandoned her. With no direction or positive influence in her life, a white woman introduced her to “her first white love” – William Shakespeare –who befriended Angelou. Reading
Similarly, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, which I first read the summer after I graduated high school, is a tale of oppression that translates into a deeply moving novel chronicling the ups and downs of a black family in the 1930’s and 1940’s. A myriad of historical and social issues are addressed, including race relations in the pre-civil rights south, segregated schools, sexual abuse, patriotism and religion. Autobiographical in nature, this tumultuous story centers around Marguerite Johnson, affectionately called "Maya", and her coast-to-coast life experiences. From the simple, backwards town of Stamps, Arkansas to the high-energy city life of San Francisco and St. Louis, Maya is assaulted by prejudice in almost every nook and cranny of society, until she finally learns to overcome her insecurities and be proud of who she is.
Walker, Alice. The Color Purple. Harcourt Bruce Jovanovich, Publishers. New York, San Diego, London, 1992
The novel, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings", by Maya Angelou is the first series of five autobiographical novels. This novel tells about her life in rural Stamps, Arkansas with her religious grandmother and St. Louis, Missouri, where her worldly and glamorous mother resides. At the age of three Maya and her four-year old brother, Bailey, are turned over to the care of their paternal grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. Southern life in Stamps, Arkansas was filled with humiliation, violation, and displacement. These actions were exemplified for blacks by the fear of the Ku Klux Klan, racial separation of the town, and the many incidents in belittling blacks.
At a young age, Maya Angelou’s parents got divorced. After the divorce was final Maya and her older brother, Bailey, were sent away to live with their grandmother. Angelou’s not so perfect life started when she was a young girl. “When she was about three years old, their parents divorced and the children were sent to live with their grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. Angelou claims that her grandmother, whom she called ‘momma, had a deep-brooding love that hung over everything she touched’” (Burt). In the first chapter of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the book starts with Angelou talking about her parent's divorce. “Our parents decided to put an end to their calamitous marriage, and father shipped us home to his mothers” (Angelou 5). After living with her grandmother, or as Maya begins to call her “momma”, for 4 years Maya Angelou and her brother Bailey are sent back to St. Louis Missouri. In St Louis they lived with her mother and her boyfriend Mr.Freeman. Mr.Freeman makes a huge impact on young Maya’s life. When she was only 8-years-old he rapes her, after being raped Angelou becomes mute and will ...
In the past two centuries, western mainstream cultures have subscribed to the belief that crying is commonly associated with femininity, regardless of one’s gender (Warhol 182). A considerable amount of literature, including Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, has been considered by critics as effectively using “narrative techniques” to make readers cry (Warhol 183). Emphasizing on these matters, Robyn R. Warhol, the author of “Narration Produces Gender: Femininity as Affect and Effect in Alice Walker’s The Color Purple”, analyzes the usefulness of the novel’s narration approaches, focusing on the meaning of Nettie’s letters to Celie and especially the fairy-tale unity in Celie’s last letter. Using The Color Purple as illustrated example, refusing to consider the accounts of gender and sexuality, the author suggests that the applications of culture’s “feminine mythologies” in the novel give readers chances to experience the physical (openly weeping) and emotional (identify self with the character) effects of femininity (Warhol 186). Although Warhol’s interpretations have successfully carried out the novel’s sentimentality within the context of culture and other novels, there is still a general lack of comprehensive examples that illustrated after each of her arguments. In order to corroborate and extend on Warhol’s central argument, the surprising factors of the novel’s ending combines with the elements of foreshadowing in Celie’s first confrontation with Albert about Nettie’s letters, Celie’s relationship with Shug, and the ugly truths about racism and sexism showing through Nettie’s and Celie’s letters should be considered as significant in creating the novel’s sentimentality.