There are many obstacles in which Maya Angelou had to overcome throughout her life. However, she was not the only person affected throughout the story, but as well as her family. Among all the challenges in their lives the author still manages to tell the rough and dramatic story of the life of African Americans during a racism period in the town of Stamps. In Maya Angelou's book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings she uses various types of language to illustrate the conflicts that arise in the novel. Among the different types of languages used throughout the book, she uses literary devices and various types of figurative language. In I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou the author uses literary devices and figurative language to illustrate to the reader how racism creates obstacles for her family and herself along with how they overcome them. One of the literary devices that the author uses are metaphors. There are many examples of metaphors in the novel however there are a few that were rather intriguing. Racism was an obstacle that many characters were affected by and the author uses metaphors to illustrate the rough period in their lives. An example of a metaphor in the novel was the concurrence that Uncle Willie encounters with Fuentes2 racism in the boxing match: "My race groaned. It was our people falling. It was another lynching, yet another Black man hanging on a tree. One more woman ambushed and rapes...This might be the end of the world. If joe lost we were back in slavery and beyond help. It would be true, the accusations that we were lower types of human beings. Only a little higher than apes. True that we were stupid and ugly and lazy and dirty and, unlucky and worst of all, ... ... middle of paper ... ... fact that he is an example of the many other opinions that whites had towards African Americans. The use of the symbol of Dr. Lincoln informs the reader of some of the harsh, mean opinions of the many whites in the town of Stamps. This symbol not only informs the reader of some opinions the whites had, but their treatments towards African Americans although they have done them favors in the past. In I Know why the Caged Bird Sings the author uses many different literary devices and various figurative language examples. The use of metaphors, imagery, similes, and Symbolism has a great effect. They’re effective due to the fact in how they inform the reader of various important details needed to understand the story completely. The use of specific, different, and various types of language illustrate to the reader the effect of racism on many characters in the novel.
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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.
Angelou well known as an entertainer was urged by James Baldwin and by the cartoonist Jules fifer and his wife Judy to try her hand at writing an autobiography. After several refuels she agreed the results was a unique series of autobiographical narratives. I know why the caged bird sings is the first of Maya Angelous's five autobiographies. It covers her life form the age of three when her parents send her and her brother bailey to live with their paternal grandmother Annie Henderson in stamps Arkansas until the age of sixteen when she becomes a mother. Annie is the main influence on her childhood.(Lupton 24).during her stay at her grandmothers Maya is raped by her mothers boyfriend Mr. freeman who warns her to be silent or he will kill her brother bailey . after the trial freeman dies after being violent beaten ,presumably by Mayas unless. Maya indeed silent mute she cannot will speak. The silent Maya is returned to momma Henderson though reaming speech less for five years until she recovers her voice through patient help of her grandmother's friend Mrs. bertha flowers.(Lupton 52).
The narrator in Ellison’s short story suffers much. He is considered to be one of the brighter youths in his black community. The young man is given the opportunity to give a speech to some of the more prestigious white individuals. The harsh treatment that he is dealt in order to perform his task is quite symbolic. It represents the many hardships that the African American people endured while they fought to be treated equally in the United States. He expects to give his speech in a positive and normal environment. What faces him is something that he never would have imagined. The harsh conditions that the boys competing in the battle royal must face are phenomenal. At first the boys are ushered into a room where a nude woman is dancing. The white men yell at the boys for looking and not looking at the woman. It is as if they are showing them all of the good things being white can bring, and then saying that they aren’t good enough for it since they were black. Next the boys must compete in the battle royal. Blindly the boys savagely beat one another. This is symbolic of the ...
Everyday, racism is perceived as one of the most negative aspects of society. When people think of racism, they obviously see hatred, evil , and ignorance. It has been a part of world culture since recorded history and , no doubt , before that. When one thinks of racism in the United States, invariably , though not only , the struggle of the African-American is singled out. That is the main issue Ellison so powerfully addresses in his short story "Battle Royal". In it the author allows us to see the world through the eyes of a young black boy who is struggling to succeed in a predominantly white society. The thing that is absolutely essential to our understanding of the story
The book thus explores a lot of important issues, such as: sexuality and race relations, and shows us how society violated her as a young African American female. In I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Maya Angelou clearly expresses the physical pain of sexual assault, the mental anguish of not daring to tell, and her guilt and shame for having been raped. Her timidity and fear of telling magnify the brutality of the rape. For more than a year after the rape she lives in self-imposed silence, speaking only very rarely. This childhood rape reveals the pain that African American women suffered as victims not only of racism but also sexism.
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...
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.
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
Often times in today's society, we stumble upon instances of racism and oppression. About 60 years ago, innocent civilians were poorly treated and ridiculed on a day to day basis during the time of segregation. The courage and strength of those men and women was indescribable. So now we ask ourselves, what was it like? In Maya Angelou's “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” Maya effectively uses multiple writing strategies to bring awareness to the prominently apparent issues of racism and oppression that still exist in our society using imagery, pathos, and strong diction to craft her overall message.
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.
Maya recalls an Easter Sunday at the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in Arkansas. Her mother makes her a special Easter dress from lavender taffeta, and Maya thinks the dress will make her look like the blond-haired blue-eyed movie star that she wishes, deep down, to be. But, the dress turns out to be drab and ugly, as Maya laments that she is black, and unattractive as well. She leaves her church pew to go to the bathroom, and doesn't make it; she runs from the church, ashamed, but glad to be out of church and away from the children who torment her, and make her childhood even harder than it already is.
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.
Throughout I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, racism is a frequent obstacle that non-whites had to overcome. When Maya is young, she doesn’t recognize the racism and discrimination as well as her grandmother does. As Maya gets older, she begins to recognize and take notice to the racism and discrimination towards her and African Americans everywhere. Maya may not recognize the racism and discrimination very well at her young age, but it still affects her outlook on life the same way it would if she had recognized it. The racism and discrimination Maya faced throughout I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, affected her attitude, personality, and overall outlook on life in a positive way.