I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: Movie and Book

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: Movie and Book

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 knows that to be black and female is to be faced with violence and violation. This is brought into focus when she goes to live with her mother and is raped by her mother’s boyfriend. When Maya is faced with this catastrophe, tells who did this to her, and the man is killed, she believes her voice killed him. She withdraws into herself and vows never to speak again. Her mother feeling that she has done everything in her power to make Maya talk, but can cannot reach her, sends Maya and her brother back to Stamps. After Maya returns to Stamps and with the help of her Teacher-Ms. Flowers she begins to speak again.

The culmination of the novel is when Maya describes her eighth grade graduation. Angelou, her classmates, and parents listen to the condescending and racist manner in which the guest speaker talks. After listening to his insults, Maya realizes "she is the master of her fate" which was expressed in the valedictory address given by her classmate. Maya becomes a single parent at the age of eighteen, bu...

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..., the film portrayed the kids being overly whelmed with hatred when they received gifts from their parents. It was like they never knew their parents existed. Another example of the difference between the book and the movie is Mr. Freeman (mother’s boyfriend) was presented as being very reserved with the children. In the movie he was seen as warm, talkative, and friendly towards Maya and her brother. The film also showed Mr. Freeman’s manly behavior by confronting Vivian (Maya’s mother) at her job. However, in the book Mr. Freeman never left the house, he always sat and waited at home for her.

Although reality involves a vast supply of details and you can not select them all. Many writers, directors, and artists, emphasis with this information and diminish other information in order to make the novels, movies, plays and etc. more vivid to our imagination.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that maya angelou's novel, "i know why the caged bird sings", is the first series of five autobiographical novels.
  • Narrates how maya is raped by her mother's boyfriend and believes her voice killed him. she withdraws into herself and vows never to speak again.
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