I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.

757 Words4 Pages
The Effects of One Person Upon The World From an apprehensive child growing up in a small town in Arkansas, Maya Angelou has evolved into an influential, wise, and respected woman. She has overcome obstacles and has grown into one of the élite intellectual people of this country, and perhaps the world. Along her numerous struggles, various people have given her positive guidance and passed down their knowledge to her. Among these people was Mrs. Bertha Flowers, a person in which Maya respected greatly. She was a dignified person that Maya could strive to achieve the gratitude that Mrs. Flowers gave to the people around her, a sense of appreciation. In her life story, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou attributes her characteristics she has acquired today, being influential, wise, and respected, to Mrs. Flowers, who shows her the power of a voice, the knowledge of literature, and pride in her race, and turns a self-conscious girl, into one of the most profound writers of our time. Mrs. Flowers enlightened Maya on the importance, and dominant effect, of expression through an individual voice. Earlier in her life, Maya was sexually molested and raped, and as a result, became dormant towards society. This was such a traumatizing event in her life that struck her obviously, in a physical sense, but moreover, mentally. Where she was once a brilliant outgoing child, she became a quiet, somber adult. As a result of this, Mrs. Flowers stepped in and told Maya to, “…bear in mind, language is man’s way of communicating with his fellow man and it is language alone which separates him from the lower animals.'; The intellect and beauty of Mrs. Flowers was shown through this quote which she educated Maya. If that was the only thing she ever mentioned to Maya, the beauty of the words alone could have changed her from a cocoon sleeping in the darkness, into a butterfly fluttering alongside the sun. Without Mrs. Flowers introduction and reasoning to speech, Maya would never have realized the power of the voice and would have been dormant from society the rest of her life. In addition to the importance of voice, Mrs. Flowers opened Maya’s to literature, and the knowledge it brings. Earlier in Angelou’s life, she was interested in comics and some poetry, but now a new outlook was imposed upon her, the power literature.

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