I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings Literary Analysis

Better Essays
Grace Roberts
Mr. Warren
Honors Lit P.5
13 January 2017
Independent Reading Literary Analysis I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was written in 1969 by Maya Angelou, a female African American author and a poet. Although this book has been published many times, it was originally published in 1969 by Random House. This intriguing autobiography was also copyrighted in 1969 and it has a total of 285 pages. Since the novel is an autobiography, it is told from a first person point of view. Maya Angelou, the protagonist, describes her life during the time period of the 1931 to 1944. Angelou’s parents get a divorce when she is only three years old, so she and her brother Bailey are sent off to Stamps, Arkansas to live with their grandmother,
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Later they go to court for the incident, but Mr. Freeman doesn’t get a sentence and is later kicked to death. A while after that, she and Bailey return to Stamps to live with their grandmother again. A major rising action after this is when Angelou visits with Mrs. Bertha Flowers, a woman who later, would make an impact on her life. During their meeting, she talked to her about how language is our way of communicating and it is what makes humans, humans. She also introduced Angelou to poetry. After this meeting, Angelou had a bit of meaning back into her life. Another important part of the story is when Angelou meets her first friend, Louise Kendricks. This is a major part of the story because Louise is one of her first childhood friends that allows her to enjoy her childhood and not be so grown up. Another rising action is when Bailey witnesses a white man smiling about the death of a black man. After hearing this, Momma decides that it is time for them to move to California with their mother, away from the harsh things in Arkansas. They move and live in an apartment in Oakland for a while until Angelou’s mother has everyone settle down in San Francisco. Angelou’s mother had married a man named Daddy…show more content…
Angelou says, “The Black female is assaulted in her tender years by all those common forces of nature at the same time that she is caught in the tripartite crossfire of masculine prejudice, white illogical hate and Black lack of power. The fact that the adult American Negro female emerges a formidable character is often met with amazement, distaste and even belligerence.” what she is saying here is that in her time, black women would have to face many different problems such as dealing with white folks, making sure their home and job is stable, they have to protect their family from harm, and watch out for those who want to sexually abuse or abuse them in general. Although this may seem like an impossible thing to deal with all of those things, Angelou’s say it is amazing that a black woman can survive all those things. The overall theme of this novel is no matter what one is challenged with in life, physically and/or mentally, one came overcome those problems or struggles. It just takes courage, determination, and
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