Angelou well known as an entertainer was urged by James Baldwin and by the cartoonist Jules fifer and his wife Judy to try her hand at writing an autobiography. After several refuels she agreed the results was a unique series of autobiographical narratives. I know why the caged bird sings is the first of Maya Angelous's five autobiographies. It covers her life form the age of three when her parents send her and her brother bailey to live with their paternal grandmother Annie Henderson in stamps Arkansas until the age of sixteen when she becomes a mother. Annie is the main influence on her childhood.(Lupton 24).during her stay at her grandmothers Maya is raped by her mothers boyfriend Mr. freeman who warns her to be silent or he will kill her brother bailey . after the trial freeman dies after being violent beaten ,presumably by Mayas unless. Maya indeed silent mute she cannot will speak. The silent Maya is returned to momma Henderson though reaming speech less for five years until she recovers her voice through patient help of her grandmother's friend Mrs. bertha flowers.(Lupton 52).
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.
in” Caged Bird” Maya Angelou is growing up black in the South in the 1930s and 40s. She
As a black woman in the 1930's and the 1940's, little power or ever respect was given. There had been no civil rights movement and Jim Crow laws and segregation were still in effect. Blacks, in general, especially women, were not given a felicitous education because it was illegal to acquire or obtain books during that time period. Maya Angelou's autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, was deeply shaped of her coming of age during the depression that caused her separation, the racism and discrimination she experienced living in the south, and the abuse she endured which formed her discernment of men.
Walker, Pierre A. (October 1995). "Racial protest, identity, words, and form in Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings". College Literature 22 (3): 91–108. Retrieved February 17 from http://web.archive.org/web/20080401071226/http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3709/is_199510/ai_n8723217
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...
Ms. Angelou left her birth place as a young child after her parents had broken up. Ms. Angelou and her brother were sent to live with her fathers’ Mother in Stamps, Arkansas. Some may call Ms. Angelou’s 1969 autobiography ”I Know Why the Caged Bird Sing” her claim to fame, some may call her poetry her occupation, and more over there are still some that would like to call her Freelance writings Maya Angelou’s life’s work. Ms. Angelou was so much more. Ms. Angelou has been known for being a Civil Rights activist, a poet, a philosopher, a teacher, an Award-winning Author, an actress, a screenwriter and the
Similarly, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, which I first read the summer after I graduated high school, is a tale of oppression that translates into a deeply moving novel chronicling the ups and downs of a black family in the 1930’s and 1940’s. A myriad of historical and social issues are addressed, including race relations in the pre-civil rights south, segregated schools, sexual abuse, patriotism and religion. Autobiographical in nature, this tumultuous story centers around Marguerite Johnson, affectionately called "Maya", and her coast-to-coast life experiences. From the simple, backwards town of Stamps, Arkansas to the high-energy city life of San Francisco and St. Louis, Maya is assaulted by prejudice in almost every nook and cranny of society, until she finally learns to overcome her insecurities and be proud of who she is.
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.
In her first autobiography, Maya Angelou tells about her childhood through her graduation through, “Graduation”, from “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” when she is about to graduate. She starts as an excited graduate because she was finally going to receive her diploma, a reward for all her academic accomplishments. On the day of her graduation finally comes, that happiness turns into doubt about her future as she believes that black people will be nothing more than potential athletes or servants to white people. It wasn’t until Henry Reed started to sing the Negro National Anthem that she felt on top of the world again. Throughout her graduation she felt excited to disappointed, until Henry Reed sang and made her feel better.
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.