Maya Angelou’s use of symbolism in the book is used to describe her displacement in society and how difficult it is to find self-identity, revealing the form of being a “Caged bird.” Maya is a caged bird because she is aware of the displacement of blacks in America and the entitlement and freedom of whites. “if growing up is as painful for the southern girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat” (Angelou 4). Angelou is aware because of the color of her skin, she is living in a society that does not want her or anyone who looks like her. With her awareness Angelou, “...escapes stasis to become a subject in the perpetual process of forming and emerging. It is a dynamic subjectivity that emerges out
Maya Angelou was a civil rights activist, author, and poet. She wrote many books and poems that conveyed the vivid experiences in her life. Maya Angelou’s works are well known and she is an eminent writer. One poem in particular that is well known is “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” written in 1969. In this work she described racial inequality, and the lack of freedom African Americans experienced in the 1930’s and 40’s. Maya Angelou uses many Rhetorical strategies and literary devices to describe the lack of racial freedom in the world at this time.
In an excerpt from her novel I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings called “Graduation,” Maya Angelou narrates the anticipation surrounding graduation in her small town of Stamps, Alabama. Angelou effectively contrives noteworthy differences between paragraphs 1 through 5 and 6 through 10 through the use of emotional and descriptive diction, powerfully bold comparisons, and a shift in perspective in order to instill pride and dignity in Angelou and her race despite the era’s highlighted social injustices which she endures.
Maya Angelou’s poetry occupies a very special position in her development as a writer (Chow 1). As a child, Angelou went through five years of complete silence after she was raped at the age of seven years old, by a man named, Mr. Freeman. As a result of telling about her traumatic experience, her uncle’s literally kicked the man that raped her to death. Beings she spoke of her traumatic experience and the result of the man dying, she then imagined that her voice had the potential to kill. Thanks to her teacher, Bertha Flowers, at school Angelou started writing poetry as a means of expression of her life events through her poetry (Chow 1). Poetry thus played an essential part in the recovery of her voice, which in
Maya Angelou, the current poet laureate of the United States, has become for many people an exemplary role model. She read an original poem at the inauguration of President Clinton; she has also appeared on the television show "Touched by an Angel," and there read another poem of her own composition; she lectures widely, inspiring young people to aim high in life. Yet this is an unlikely beginning for a woman who, by the age of thirty, had been San Francisco's first black streetcar conductor; an unmarried mother; the madam of a San Diego brothel; a prostitute, a showgirl, and an actress (Lichtler, 861927397.html). Her book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings argues persuasively
Perhaps the reason that Maya’s poetry has had such a lasting impact on Americans is because of her poems such as ‘Caged Birds’ and ‘Still I Rise’ that demonstrate the issues that African – Americans faced, which she has done through the power of her words. She also challenges the readers with the theme of oppression that is carried out through her pomes as she felt very strongly about it by being surrounded by it her entire life. Maya Angelou has left an everlasting mark by influencing the society through her poems by inspiring others to persist towards their goals and dreams with strength and pride. Overall, Maya Angelou’s work can be attributed to the fact that her personal and cultural experiences of power have not been forgotten by overcoming adversity and oppression, which is clearly reflected in her inspiration body of work seen
The memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is an autobiography written by Maya Angelou as she grew up in the mid-20th century, where being a black girl and facing racial issues in society, had to overcome many problems that show the larger issue of the time period. I chose this book over the other nineteen memoirs because of the strong recommendations I received from my fellow class mates, and because of my interest in racial issues during the terrible times of segregation. Life was not fair, and Maya Angelou had to face a lot during the 30’s and 40’s in order to try to live a normal lifestyle and become a confident person. Maya shares her story with us to increase our knowledge of racism, prejudice, unequal treatment of women, and sexual
A strong and influential memoirist is able to grasp the reader’s attention and dive into topics bigger than themselves. Maya Angelou, the author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, describes herself as neither a hero nor a victim as she recollects her past. Growing up, Maya Angelou not only suffered from white prejudice and gender inequality, she was presented with situations that made her feel powerless. According to Angelou, “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, whites illogical hate and Black lack of power,” (Angelou, 272). However, she found herself persevering through all of the adversity she faced and accepted her reality: “the fact that the adult American Negro female emerges a formidable character is often met with amazement” (Angelou, 272). Angelou did an exceptional job of describing herself as neither a hero nor a victim in her memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
In Maya Angelou’s poem, “Caged Bird”, I interpret that it’s about a person that is limited by their past. In the first stanza, the author wrote, “... and dips his wings in the orange sun rays and dares to claim the sky”(Maya Angelou). The bird takes in the world's beauty, but is afraid to capture it. The limit is the sky for the bird. In the poem, it states, “..his wings are clipped and his feet are tied”(Maya Angelou). Limitations keep the bird standing in his cage of worry. He is worried about the unknown that could be the future. In the 5th stanza, Maya Angelou wrote, “But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams”(Maya Angelou). Dead dreams are all the bird sees. It doesn’t let those dreams, come back to life because he limits the chance for those dreams to become a reality.
In the poem, “Sympathy” by Paul Lawrence Dunbar, and the response to the literature, “Caged Bird” by Maya Angelou are structured around the symbol of a caged bird. As the caged bird is the symbol of the African American race during that time, both have similar and different meanings in their responses.
Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” is an emotional coming of age autobiography set in the nineteen thirties – forties, focusing on her struggle with self-acceptance, insecurities, and prejudices. This journey is vastly explored throughout the United States such as, Arkansas, St. Louis, California, and even outside of the U.S. like Mexico. She travels with her brother to visit different members of their family, with each location having a story to tell. When she is three years old, she and her brother, Bailey, are sent to stamps with their grandmother after their parents got divorced. Notoriously in the South, segregation and racism is omnipresent. Here Maya is brought up by “Mama”, her grandmother. The siblings understandably feel abandoned by their parents after realizing they weren’t dead like they’d coaxed themselves to believe.
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,
The poem “Caged Bird” by Maya Angelou tells the story of two birds: one bird has the luxury of freedom and the second bird lives its life caged and maltreated by an unknown tyrant. Maya Angelou wrote this poem during the Civil Rights Era, the period when black activists in the 1950’s and 1960’s fought for desegregation of African Americans. This poem parallels the oppression that African Americans were fighting during this time period. In “Caged Bird”, Angelou builds a strong contrast that shows the historical context of discrimination and segregation through the use of mood, symbolism, and theme.
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings is a novel by Maya Angelou, where she writes about her childhood and her experiences while growing up. This non-fiction novel illustrates Maya Angelou’s childhood, being tossed around by her parents, and having to experience different cultures. Maya struggles particularly in finding friends, she is reserved, and will only open up to Bailey, her brother. Maya moves a couple of times to different places, which may contribute to her not having friends. The novel revolves around Maya Angelou, Bailey, and her grandmother, evolving through life from being a child to a teenager. This novel is set in the “South”, in America.
However, in the poem “Caged Bird” Maya Angelou characterizes the free and caged bird as, one bird symbolizing imprisonment and limitations while the other symbolizes freedom, which further develops the theme of inequality. The line “And dares to claim the sky” shows how unaware the free bird is and further develops the idea of its freedom. This piece of evidence shows how unaware the free bird is by exaggerating the extent of its freedom compared to the caged bird. In