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...
Maya Angelou's writing career began during the late 1950's, around the same period when the Civil Rights Movement began to take place. Maya's known for one f her most famous poems, I Know Why The Cage Birds Sing. This poem is basically talking about how the birds in the cage are the African Americans/Blacks, where they have no freedom. "The free bird leaps on the back of the wind/and floats downstream till the current ends/And dips his wings in the orange sun rays and dares to claim the sky."(Angelou, 1-3) In the beginning , of this poem Maya Angelou is using the free bird to refer to the white people because they have all the rights and the blacks are stuck in "the cage" with no rights or freedom. Also, she could have a more positive aspect meaning that the free bird is the Black American dream coming to reality. After, being in ...
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.
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.
The roller-coaster life of Maya Angelou has included many ups and downs that have become the stuff out of which she has written a six volume autobiography, beginning with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and ending recently with the last installment, A Song Flung up to Heaven. Angelou was born Marguerite Johnson on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri (Weaver G-10). Angelou's life has been filled with chaos and despair as well as success and love. She was raped by her mother's boyfriend at the age of 8 and at various times in her life she toiled in a variety of occupations including Creole cook, calypso dancer, actress, madam, civil-righ...
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.
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
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.
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.
Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is an autobiography that describes the coming of age of a Southern black girl who overcomes society’s cruelty as she grows up. Taking place in Stamps, Kansas during the 1930s, the autobiography captures Marguerite Ann Johnson’s, or Maya’s, battle of finding herself and coming to terms with who she is while growing up in a time period comprised of oppression and discrimination. Furthermore, Maya endures many childhood hardships due to her race, and she defeats these obstacles with her intelligence and fortitude. Thus, Maya Angelou utilizes her vividly detailed experiences of racism’s impact on her and her resistance to racism to demonstrate the struggle of the Southern black girl who grows up in a society overwhelmed with white superiority.
In the text "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" a young black girl is growing up with racism surrounding her. It is very interesting how the author Maya Angelou was there and the way she described every detail with great passion. In the book Maya and Bailey move to a lot of places, which are, Stamps, Arkansas; St. Louis, Missouri; and San Francisco, California. Maya comes threw these places with many thing happening to her and people she knows. She tries to hold onto all the good memories and get rid of the bad but new ones just keep coming. That is why this book is very interesting. It keeps readers on the edge of their seats.
Thesis: Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” reveals a disturbing truth about freedom and oppression. Despite being constantly told by society that they are of little value, oppressed people are able to overcome hardships in life in order to strengthen