Summary Of Caged Bird And Courage By Maya Angelou

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Maya Angelou and Anne Sexton were both inspirational women, whom shamelessly shared their trials and tribulations in their poems- ‘Caged Bird’ (Angelou) and ‘Courage’ (Sexton). Both women who were born during ‘the great depression’, have attained their unique attitudes and beliefs in their poems, through their hardships of social injustice, abuse and depression. These are highlighted through their distinctive voices: Angelou’s protest voice to Sexton’s confessional voice. These voices are shown through techniques such as juxtaposition, imagery and repetition. The poems ‘Caged Bird’ and ‘Courage’ are written with the theme of strength and show resilience through the character’s voice- themselves.
When she was 8 years old, Maya Angelou was sexually abused and raped by her mother’s boyfriend- who was later killed- so she silenced her voice because she thought her voice had killed a man. Angelou who silenced her voice as a child, made it a force in her poems and attitudes, and now a civil rights legacy. Her poem ‘Caged bird’ shows that imprisonment cannot stop the cry of freedom from the oppressed.
In the poem ‘Caged bird’, the element of juxtaposition is used to express the idea of imprisonment (maybe slavery in particular) by using two birds, one freed and the other imprisoned. The imprisoned birds symbolize both the enslaved African-Americans and Maya Angelou. Imagery is used to juxtapose in stanza one where it interacts with nature- ‘back of the wind’, orange sun rays’, and

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