Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Essay

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Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Maya shields herself against the confusion of St. Louis by reading fairy-tales and telling herself that she does not intend on staying there anyway. Vivian works in a gambling parlor at night. Maya pities Mr. Freeman because he spends his days at home waiting for Vivian to return. Maya begins sleeping at night with Vivian and Mr. Freeman because she suffers from nightmares. One morning after Vivian has left the bed and the house,…show more content…
Freeman sends Maya to buy milk. When she returns from the errand, Mr. Freeman rapes her. He threatens to kill her if she screams, and he threatens to kill Bailey if she tells anyone. Afterward, Mr. Freeman sends her to the library, but Maya returns home because of the intense physical pain she feels between her legs. She hides her underwear under her mattress and goes to bed. Vivian thinks she might be coming down with the measles. Later that night, Maya hears Vivian argue with Mr. Freeman. In the morning, Vivian tells Maya that Mr. Freeman has moved out. When Bailey tries to change the linens, the bloodied panties Maya has hidden under the mattress fall out.
Summary: Chapter 13
Vivian takes Maya to the hospital. Bailey privately urges Maya to name the rapist, assuring her that he would not allow the culprit to kill him. Maya reveals Mr. Freeman's name, the authorities promptly arrest him. Maya thinks of herself as a grown woman, remembering that her nurses told her that she has already experienced the worst that life has to offer.
Maya feels caught in a trap when the attorney asks her whether there were any sexual incidents with Mr. Freeman prior to the rape. She fears rejection from her family if she admits to the previous incidents, but
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