I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings Essay

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings Essay

Length: 500 words (1.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In the autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the main character Marguerite Johnson, is influenced by a preponderance of characters including Bailey Jr. , Momma Henderson, and Mrs. Bertha Flowers. One of the primary influences is her older brother, Bailey Jr.. Momma, or Annie Henderson, the parental grandmother, also plays an important role for Maya. Additionally, Mrs. Flowers, the black aristocrat of Stamps, saves Maya during an especially difficult time. All in all, these three characters act as important role models in the development of Marguerite through her juvenile years.

First, Bailey Jr. serves as the most significant role in the protagonist’s young life. In the novel, Maya distinguishably states, “ I would be the major loser if Bailey turned up dead. For he was all I claimed, if not all I had.” Bailey is one year senior to the main character, however, it makes no difference, for they both share many of the same interests, such as reading poems and playing games. When Angelou was eight, she and Bailey moved to St. Louis to live with their mother Vivian, and her mother’s boyfriend Mr. Freeman; soon after, Mr. Freeman sexually molests and rapes the young child; after such a horrid experience, the central character only speaks to Bailey who comforts and supports her. To sum up, Bailey gives much confidence to Marguerite throughout their childhood together.

Second, Annie Henderson influences her granddaughter as an all powerful role model. For example, “Mo...

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings Essay

- In the autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the main character Marguerite Johnson, is influenced by a preponderance of characters including Bailey Jr. , Momma Henderson, and Mrs. Bertha Flowers. One of the primary influences is her older brother, Bailey Jr.. Momma, or Annie Henderson, the parental grandmother, also plays an important role for Maya. Additionally, Mrs. Flowers, the black aristocrat of Stamps, saves Maya during an especially difficult time. All in all, these three characters act as important role models in the development of Marguerite through her juvenile years....   [tags: I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings]

Good Essays
500 words (1.4 pages)

Essay on I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Storm the Battlefronts

- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Storm the Battlefronts 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....   [tags: Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Essays]

Free Essays
523 words (1.5 pages)

Race Relations in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou Essay

- Race Relations in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou The reasons listed by the censors for banning I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings do not explain the widespread controversy around the novel. There is reason to believe that the question of the novel is in its poignant portrayal of race relations. This explains why the novel has been most controversial in the South, where racial tension is historically worst, and where the novel is partially set. Therefore, understanding the blatant and subtle effects of racism on the young Marguerite help explain the censorship controversy, and the person she became....   [tags: Know Why Caged Bird Sings Essays Angelou]

Good Essays
773 words (2.2 pages)

Oppression in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

- Oppression in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou In the process of compiling the literary works I intended to include in this project, I began to notice a common thread that connected the works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry that I generally choose to read. That common tie that binds these books together is that they all seem to center, in one form or another, around the theme of oppression. Perhaps this is because I have some deep psychological need to diffuse the power struggles I experience within myself by gleaning insight from the pages of someone else’s experience....   [tags: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings]

Free Essays
995 words (2.8 pages)

Quest for Self-Determination in I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings and Lakota Woman

- Quest for Self-Determination in I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings and Lakota Woman       During their growing up years, children struggle to find their personal place in society. It is difficult for children to find their place when they are given numerous advantages, but when a child is oppressed by their parents or grandparents, males in their life, and the dominant culture, the road to achieving self-identity is fraught with enormous obstacles to overcome. Maya Angelou's I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings and Mary Crow Dog's Lakota Woman depict the two women's "triumph over formidable social obstacles and [their] struggle to achieve a sense of identity and self-acceptance" (Draper 1)....   [tags: Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Essays]

Good Essays
2718 words (7.8 pages)

Why The Caged Bird Sings Essay

- Maya Angelou explains ( in her autobiography, Why the Caged Bird Sings,) why her religious background and church upbringing are so important to her life and poetic writing. I came to know Jesus, as I was married and sad, I found in him a resting place, and He made me glad. (page 124). She also states The good Lord gave me another day and I 'm thankful. (page 122). I know I am a witness for my Lord. (Page 124). The Bible says, he who can hear let them hear. Maya wants the world to hear her sing through her poetry....   [tags: Racism, Jesus, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings]

Good Essays
836 words (2.4 pages)

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings Essay

- “Love and hate are two horns on the same goat” (The Help). The world cannot know love without experiencing hatred. The Help and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings both take place in the South, during a time period where racism and hate are very prevalent. Although it is obvious that both works portray racism, they both do it in a way that makes the controversial issue seem very different. However, many can agree that The Help gets the reality of this issue across to its audience more effectively than the novel....   [tags: White people, Black people]

Good Essays
1041 words (3 pages)

Essay on Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

- Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Maya shields herself against the confusion of St. Louis by reading fairy-tales and telling herself that she does not intend on staying there anyway. Vivian works in a gambling parlor at night....   [tags: Angelou Caged Bird Book Summary Review Analysis]

Good Essays
1676 words (4.8 pages)

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings Essay

- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings In the autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the main character Marguerite, also known as Maya is influenced a great deal by those around her. Throughout her young life, Maya watches and learns from her older brother Bailey, as well as her guardian and grandmother, Annie Henderson to whom Maya and Bailey refer as “Momma”. Though later in her preteen and adolescent years, Maya finds refuge in the strength and intelligence of Ms. Bertha Flowers and in high school Maya grows to respect and admire a teacher, Miss Kirwin, except for the sporadic presence of Maya’s Mother, Vivian Baxter, Maya most heavily depends on Bailey, Momma Henderson, and Ms....   [tags: Free Essays]

Free Essays
399 words (1.1 pages)

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Essay

- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings In the beginning of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Marguerite, later known as Maya begins to tell the story of her childhood. When her parents divorced, they sent her & her brother, Bailey to live in Stamps, Arkansas with their Grandmother (Momma) and their Uncle Willie. The kids go to school in Stamps and work in the store that Momma and Uncle Willie own. One year, while they were in Stamps, their father came to visit. When he was getting ready to return to California, he asked the kids if they wanted to come back with him to live....   [tags: Essays Papers]

Good Essays
790 words (2.3 pages)