Maya Angelou Themes

analytical Essay
1540 words
1540 words

Marguerite Anne Johnson, better known as Maya Angelou, was born on April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri. She was born and raised in an era that involved the Great Depression and World War I. When her parents divorced at a young age, she and her brother were sent to live with her grandmother in a heavily racially segregated Stamps , Arkansas. She found solace in her brother, Bailey, in the hard times produced by the South. This segregation was severe in this era, especially for shy young Marguerite. Throughout her childhood, she was sent from her grandmother to her father and mother. All these different environments exposed Angelou to a series of experiences including: racism, segregation, music, and politics. These experiences were most likely what prompted her to chronicle her life through autobiographical works as well as poems. In these works, Angelou utilizes elements such as literary devices, poetic devices, allusions, recurring themes and symbols to portray …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that marguerite anne johnson, better known as maya angelou, was born and raised in an era that involved the great depression and world war i.
  • Analyzes how maya's experiences in stamps, arkansas, and st. louis missouri contributed to her identity, displacement and motivation to write about it.
  • Analyzes how maya's autobiography, i know why the caged bird sings, was influenced by literary and religious allusions.
  • Analyzes how angelou views religion as an escape from the harsh realities and injustices that took place daily.
  • Analyzes how maya angelou employs various literary devices throughout i know why the caged bird sings in order to describe various characters appearance, actions, surroundings, and the setting.
  • Analyzes how angelou uses characterization in i know the caged bird sings to portray distinctive people in the south.

In her later works, she uses these devices to portray life for the black woman evolving from that life and becoming free. The places that Maya lived during her childhood contributed to her identity, displacement and motivated her to write about it in the future. In Stamps, Arkansas, being raised by her religious grandmother or "Mama Henderson", her love of God began, also explaining her many biblical allusions. Overall this African American love of religion gave them a outlet for the suffering and the pain of the segregation and depression that was all too common. In Stamps, Angelou was exposed to this segregation, she even mentioned that she didn’t believe whites were people(pg.) because her side of the town had never seen them. (commentary) The

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