In order to understand Maya Angelou’s works, one must first understand the postmodern time period. Postmodernism got its start during the early 1940s and continues all the way up to the present day. A main characteristic of this time period is the analyzation of human nature (1940s Postmodernism). According to the Public Broadcasting Service, “the French theorist Jean-François Lyotard succinctly defined postmodernism as [ . . . ] a skepticism toward the ‘grand narratives’ that seek to explain and plot human life and history” (1940s Postmodernism). Along with this, postmodern writing focuses on issues happening during the present rather than searching for answers to large-scale, in depth ideas. In keeping focus on the present issues, new knowledge that comes about is not acquired to simply know it, it is acquired to apply it (Klages).
Another important characteristic of postmodern literature is the mixing of styles. Many literary styles such as “[ . . . ] tone, point of view, register, and logical sequence; apparently random unexpected intrusions and [ . . ...
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Metzger, Sheri E. Critical Essay on “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” 2001. Cengage
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Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou. FamousPoetsandPoems.com. 22 Mar. 2010 Web.
Scott, Edurne. Understanding Post-Modernism. 30 Mar. 2009. Suite 101. 22 Mar. 2010 Web.
Smith, Sidonie Ann. The Song of a Caged Bird: Maya Angelou’s Quest After Self-Accep
Tance. 1997. Cengage Learning. 22 Mar. 2010 Web.
Still I Rise by Maya Angelou. FamousPoetsandPoems.com. 22 Mar. 2010 Web.
Touched by An Angel by Maya Angelou. FamousPoetsandPoems.com. 22 Mar. 2010 Web.
1940s Present Postmodernism. Mar. 2007. Public Broadcasting Service. 22 Mar. 2010 Web.
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