Childhood In Maya Angelou's I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

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In the book titled, “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” written by Maya Angelou, Maya recalls her childhood throughout her teenage years. Maya who is an African American goes through many difficult situations that make her feel unworthy of herself, and learns that there is more to beauty then being just white. At a young age Maya’s parents’ divorce and send her with her brother Bailey to go live with their grandmother and disabled Uncle Willie in Stamps. Their Maya feels more shameful of being white because she sees that her grandmother is not respected even though she is one of the few black people who are wealthy. Maya states “I wanted to throw a handful of black pepper in their faces, to throw lye on them, to scream that they were dirty,…show more content…
Feeling unequal to the white children, Maya wishes that someday she can wake up from her terrible dream and things would be different for her. Angelou writes, “The dress I wore was lavender taffeta, and each time I breathed it rustled, and now I was sucking in air to breathe out shame it sounded like crepe paper on the back of hearses” (Angelou 2). In other words, Maya doesn’t understand why she is treated differently from the white kids. Even though she wanted to be cared for the same why the white people got cared for, she knew that it would be impossible as long as she was black. Maya found it difficult to understand why white people judged her unfairly because of her color of her skin. For example, everyone that looked at Maya had seen her just as another black little girl who was only good for one thing, which was to serve as a maid. But the white people never looked at how talented she was. She was probably one of the few black little girls who knew how to read and knew a lot about literature. Even though Maya was probably smarter than most of the white children, it didn’t matter because she was another black
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