I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

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Three primary problems “cage” Maya Angelou in her autobiographical book I Know why the Caged Bird Sings. The most pressing of these issues was probably the fact that Maya lived in the highly segregated south. Another factor of her imprisonment was because Maya, also known as Marguerite, was a social outcast, with very few friends other then relatives. Finally, the main character was entrapped because of her unusual sexual exposure. Over all, the highly segregated life she led, her exclusion socially, and her sexual experience caught Ms. Angelou.

At the time, racism was predominate amongst southern citizens, this caused Maya’s displacement because she was a young black girl. Throughout the book Maya faces prejudice, and is constantly fighting this outrage, yet is not always winning. When Marguerite Johnson, nicknamed Ritie, was sixteen she became the first black streetcar operator in San Francisco, yet she had to fight incredibly hard to get her job. Even after she did her work schedule was impossible, and the free feeling she got from her job was turned against her at school, when she realized that her and her fellow classmates were, “on paths moving diametrically away from each other,” so even though Ritie had gotten the job she wanted, which she could have gotten easier had she been white, she was still an outcast. Furthermore, Marguerite, being Black, was denied certain necessities, such as not getting her toothache treated by the nearest dentist because he’d “rather sti...
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