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The Theme of Violence in Cage Bird, Giving Blood, Sand Creek, and An Episode of War

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This semester in American Literature I have read and analyzed various literary works. The reoccurring theme throughout the works is violence. I have came to the conclusion that the significance of violence throughout the various works is that the group or individual singled out throughout the works is the victim of violence because the enemy has something to gain from the victim. The literary works, Caged Bird, Giving Blood, Sand Creek, and An Episode of War demonstrate this.
For example, Caged Bird by Maya Angelou demonstrates how a personal struggle can become a form of violence. Angelou, an African American has a troubled childhood and as a result of her parents divorce she is sent to live with her grandmother at a young age. Angelou struggles with the reality of being rejected by her parents at a young age and as a result believes she is ugly and will never hold the same value as a white person. Throughout her life Angelou is confronted with racism. In Caged Bird, the bird represents Angelou who is a victim of her own situation. “The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom” (124). This quote reflects Angelou’s situation of being “caged” in her situation and demonstrates how the violence of racism and negative thinking of oneself results in self destruction and how people who discriminate against Angelou have self gain because they feed off of the negative reactions of Angelou. The free bird in the poem represents Angelou’s potential as well as hopes and dreams for the future.
Next, in Giving Blood, by Sherman Alexie, the protagonist is in need of money for a cab fare goes to a blood donation bank. Th...


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...ant makes his way to the hospital and comes upon men who are misplaced in the war due to various situations such as injuries or separation from their units. Once the lieutenant arrives at the hospital the surgeon tells the lieutenant that he will need surgery and assures him that he will be able to keep the arm stating, “come along, now. I won’t amputate it” (14). This quote is a lie told in order to get the lieutenants consent. The story concludes with the lieutenant’s right arm being amputated. The violence in the short story consists of the ongoing war and the act of the surgeon lying to the surgeon and amputating the lieutenant’s arm. The gain was as a result of the lieutenant’s consent the doctor was able to amputate the lieutenant’s arm.
The works studied this semester all share a common theme of violence. The theme is that one party gains in violence.





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