The Struggles in Maya Angelou's Life Essays

The Struggles in Maya Angelou's Life Essays

Length: 924 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The early 1930’s a time where segregation was still an issue in the United States it was especially hard for a young African American girl who is trying to grow and become an independent woman. At this time, many young girls like Maya Angelou grew up wishing they were a white woman with blond hair and blue eyes. That was just the start of Angelou's problems though. In the autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou goes into great depth about her tragic childhood, from moving around to different houses, and running away and having a child at the age of 16. This shows how Maya overcame many struggles as a young girl.

At a young age, Maya Angelou’s parents got divorced. After the divorce was final Maya and her older brother, Bailey, were sent away to live with their grandmother. Angelou’s not so perfect life started when she was a young girl. “When she was about three years old, their parents divorced and the children were sent to live with their grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. Angelou claims that her grandmother, whom she called ‘momma, had a deep-brooding love that hung over everything she touched’” (Burt). In the first chapter of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the book starts with Angelou talking about her parent's divorce. “Our parents decided to put an end to their calamitous marriage, and father shipped us home to his mothers” (Angelou 5). After living with her grandmother, or as Maya begins to call her “momma”, for 4 years Maya Angelou and her brother Bailey are sent back to St. Louis Missouri. In St Louis they lived with her mother and her boyfriend Mr.Freeman. Mr.Freeman makes a huge impact on young Maya’s life. When she was only 8-years-old he rapes her, after being raped Angelou becomes mute and will ...

... middle of paper ...>.

Hanford, Mary. Maya Angelou. New Jersey: Salem, 2006. Literary Reference Center. Web. 8 Apr. 2014. .

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. New York: Maya Angelou, 2009. Print.

Walker, Pierre A. Racial protest, identity, words, and form in Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Vol. 22. West Chester: Collage Literature, n.d. Literary Reference Center. Web. 8 Apr. 2014. .

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Maya Angelou: The Strength of the Human Spirit Essay

- In Maya Angelou’s third book of poetry And Still I Rise, the personal struggles of the African American Woman are brought to life through poetic works. With inspirations drawn from personal journeys of Maya Angelou herself, powerful poems praise, celebrate, and empathize with the feminine colored experience. Angelou’s writing sheds glaring light on themes of feminine power, beauty, and perseverance, raising the African American Woman to a pedestal that demands respect and adoration. For Angelou’s audience, the everyday woman is presented equipped with all the necessities to thrive and shine in the face of adversity....   [tags: Maya Angelou]

Better Essays
1752 words (5 pages)

The Journey Of Maya Angelou Essay

- "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel". This is a famous quote written by Maya Angelou. Angelou is known as one of the most influential African women of all times (Maya 1). She is best known for her famous poems about injustices, tribulations, and experiences that she went through. For instance, Still I Rise, Phenomenal Woman, and I know why the caged bird sings, are some of her examples (Maya 2)....   [tags: Maya Angelou, Martin Luther King, Jr.]

Better Essays
1840 words (5.3 pages)

Still I Rise By Maya Angelou Essay example

- Maya Angelou was born on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri, writer and civil rights activist. Angelou describes different types of tones in her poems, but in her poem “Still I Rise” Angelou uses loss tone in this poem as she got up from the pain she felt and hurt she been through of being raped. Then Angelou went mute for several years until the wake of his murder. For her love with poetry that 's when she started speaking again. This poem also showed how Angelou show how she poses to the audience and heritage....   [tags: African American, Black people, Maya Angelou]

Better Essays
1092 words (3.1 pages)

Maya Angelou 's Still I Rise Essay

- Maya Angelou’s poem “Still I Rise,” uses various literary devices to convey her message to the reader. Angelou incorporates similes, metaphors, imagery along with other devices to reach out to her audience and capture the attention of the reader. Angelou’s poem may first be understood as a feminist statement to show her strengths as an African American woman. However, as the reader digs deeper into her work, one can understand that due to the obstacles that she has been faced with in her life, they have given her the immense amount of wisdom and strength to overcome any difficult situation with the mentality that she reveals she has in the poem....   [tags: Question, Rhetorical question, Maya Angelou]

Better Essays
1248 words (3.6 pages)

Essay about Maya Angelou: A Source of Humanity

- Maya Angelou: A Source of Humanity "I am human," Angelou said, "and nothing human can be alien to me" (Shafer). Maya Angelou just may be the most "human" person in the world. Indeed, with all of the struggles she went through in her early life, her humanness increasingly deepened. Her life was characterized by the instability of her childhood and her family, along with the challenge of being a black woman growing up in 19th century America. The deepness of her humanness is evident in all of her writings, from her autobiographies to her poetry....   [tags: Writer Maya Angelou Essays]

Better Essays
1332 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on Her Ascending Lark : A Brief Survey Of The Life Of Maya Angelou

- Title: Her Ascending Lark: A Brief Survey of the Life of Maya Angelou Specific Purpose: To inform my audience about the significant hurdles Maya Angelou overcame to accomplish greatness Central Idea: Maya Angelou was able to overcome numerous hurdles women of color faced in her day going on to become a revered and respected artist. Introduction "Still I Rise" by Maya Angelou: "You may write me down in history / With your bitter, twisted lies, / You may trod me in the very dirt / But still, like dust, I 'll rise....   [tags: Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings]

Better Essays
732 words (2.1 pages)

Essay about Maya Angelou's Poems

- ... When there is a will, there is a way and Angelou always made a way to get back on her feet and keep it moving. Mayo Angelou explains the reality between struggles and the beauty of overcoming them in her poem called “Woman Work”. This poem is about a mother, preferably, a single mother that has children that she takes care of. The poem starts off by saying, “I’ve got children to tend / The clothes to mend / The floor to mop / The food to shop / Then the chicken to fry / The baby to dry / I got company to feed / The garden to weed / I’ve got shirts to press / The tots to dress / The can to be cut / I gotta clean up this hut / Then see about the sick and the cotton to pick” (1-14)....   [tags: notorious African American authors]

Better Essays
1300 words (3.7 pages)

Maya Angelou’s Biography Essay

- Maya Angelou’s Biography A long time ago I believe it was on April 4, 1928 when my best friend Maya was born. Maya and I lived in the town of Stamps, Arkansas with her grandmother due to the divorce of her parents. During these awful years at the age of 7 Maya went to visit her grandmother when she was raped by her mother’s boyfriend. After this due to the hatred her uncle killed her mother’s boyfriend. She became so traumatized by all of this that she even stopped talking. During this time Maya and I became great friends for you see Maya loved to write and well I was her tool the one object that made her happy as you may already know I am a pencil her best friend....   [tags: arkansas, poetry, analysis]

Better Essays
2089 words (6 pages)

Maya Angelou Essay

- Maya Angelou Born Marguerite Johnson on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri Maya Angelou later changed her name to promote her writing. Maya- represents the childhood name her brother Bailey gave her and Angelou is a variation of her married last name. At the age of three her parents divorced and sent her and her younger brother Bailey to live with their paternal grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. When she was seven years old she moved to Chicago to live with her mother and encountered one of the most traumatic experiences of her life....   [tags: Biography Author Writer]

Free Essays
1311 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on Personal Perseverance in the Works of Maya Angelou

- Personal Perseverance in the Works of Maya Angelou       Internationally respected brilliant poet, historian, and author Maya Angelou says "in all my work I try to tell the human truth-what it is like to be human...what makes us stumble and fumbleand fall and somehow miraculously rise and go on from the darkness and into the light (Ebony 96). This theme is consistently exemplified throughout Angelou's greatly acclaimed autobiographical worksand poems such as I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Gather Together in my Name, Still I Rise and Phenomenal Women....   [tags: Biography Biographies Essays]

Better Essays
1312 words (3.7 pages)