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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Analysis

Keywords: maya angelou i understand why the caged parrot sings

"I UNDERSTAND Why the Caged Bird Sings" can be an autobiography compiled by Maya Angelou. She explains about her hard life "caged" growing up as a dark girl from the South. Maya Angelou begins the novel about her life in age three with her four-year-old brother Bailey. They are really turned on the care and attention of their paternal grandmother in Stamps. She represents how the two children were directed away after they parents' divorce, traveling by train across the Southwestern and cling to their label "To whom IT COULD Concern", c/o Mrs Henderson. Both kids are looking this like rejection and loss of self-worth. "I'm being delivered away because I'm no lovable". Angelou generalizes the children situations the following: "Years later I discovered that the United States have been crossed thousands of times by frightened Black color children traveling alone to their newly affluent parents in North cities, or dark-colored to grandmothers in Southern cities when the urban North reneged on its economical claims. " (Caged Bird, 4). Smith expresses that Maya starts with a primal youth field that brings into concentration the type of the imprisoning environment that the home will seek escape. The black female child is captured within the cage of her own diminished self-image around which interlock the pubs of natural and cultural forces. (Interpretation, 6)

Her grandmother's store is the guts of life in the Negro community of the city, being the pick-up and drop-off point for natural cotton pickers in picking season. Her grandmother Henderson is offered not only as the primary role in center of her family, but as the first choice of the dark community in Stamps, strong and spiritual. McMurry argues that from Maya's sight the customers in her grandmother's store were stuck in cotton areas, no amount of expectation and work to have them out. Her uncle Willie is caged "will need to have been tired of being crippled, as prisoners tire of penitentiary pubs and the guilty car tire of blame". Her grandmother goes up every morning with consciousness of an caged creature (Interpretation, 27).

Maya and her brother Baily were very close throughout their childhood and almost all of their adolescence. Maya in her history writes, "During these years in Stamps, I satisfied and fell deeply in love with William Shakespeare. He was my first white love" (Caged Parrot, 11). Maya writes that "But it was Shakespeare who said, `When in disgrace with fortune and men's eye. It was a state with which I noticed myself most familiar. I pacified myself about his whiteness by declaring that in the end he previously been dead such a long time that this couldn't subject to anyone any more". She also loves the works of many prominent black creators, which her Momma, or grandmother, approves more of. Although young Maya enjoys Shakespeare, and is okay with the fact that he is white, her Momma wouldn't want to know that Maya likes a white man's work. Maya seems that she again is "caged" and can't exhibit her thoughts and sense about Shakespeare with grandmother.

Angelou recalls how Momma used to make them bathe and clean constantly, even in cool water in wintertime. She used to insist on them being respectful and clean, which most individuals were, except for the "powhitetrash" children that came into the town. The ones that arrived to the store were often very rude, but young Maya and her family aren't permitted to say anything, because they're black. Angelou details her Momma; she actually is tall, big, and strong, and leads in the hymns at chapel every Sunday. She actually is old-fashioned, though, as she instructs the kids to work as she was to work as a kid, and demonstrates to them to act according to obsolete racial rules of behavior. Carol Neubauer commentary in Angelou's romance with her grandmother state governments that "Momma becomes sort of superwoman of extensive proportions with ten feet large with eight-foot hands" and comes to the helpless child's save. In this alternate eye-sight, Angelou switches to dream to suggest the depth of the child's humiliation and the residue of pain even after her two bad pearly whites have been taken. Fantasy, finally, is used to show the undiminished durability of the type of Momma.

The recession struck the city and the big difference between the white and black communities of Stamps is known; white folks have plenty of clothes and can afford to be charitable and spend too much, but still they have enough for themselves. Inside the black community, people can rarely afford to provide anything away, so when they certainly, it is much appreciated. Even though Momma has land and money, even she doesn't spend cash like the white people do, budgeting carefully and never spending anything. Even Momma makes every one of the clothes for herself and the children, and only will buy Uncle Willie expensive, ready-made clothes and shoes. The unhappiness strikes Stamps, and contributes to wages being cut and difficulty making ends meet. That does mean that they can not afford to look at the store, and Momma has to work out how to keep the store running but still earn money. She allows the townspeople to trade the pain relief food that they get for credit at the store, and is able to keep things going there. The complete "black community of Stamps" Smith argues, itself "caged" in the communal simple fact of racial subordination and impotence (Modern Critics, 133)

Christmas comes, and Maya and Bailey get presents off their parents, who they hadn't heard of given that they were transported off to Stamps. Maya and Bailey's daddy comes to Stamps another year, to see his children; neither of them were warned that he was approaching, and it is hard for them to face their daddy in the flesh and give in the fantasies they had about their absent daddy. He is extra tall and handsome, and more proper and rich than folks in Stamps. Maya is happy that he is there, but thinks that if people see her and her father together, their dissimilarity in looks can make people think she is not his child. When they finally do meet their mom, she actually is very beautiful and enchanting, and Maya and Bailey are no more nervous or unhappy at being taken away from Stamps. Saint Louis is the key making point in Maya's life. She received the mother's love and care and attention that she skipped all the years in Stamps. Maya doesn't have friends in support of Bailey is the only person she can promote her secret.

Maya writes "Saint Louis was a foreign country. In my own head I only stayed in St. Louis a couple weeks" and "I carried the same shield i used in Stamps: "I didn't come to remain. " (Caged Bird, 58). In Saint Louis, mother's sweetheart, Mr. Friedman raped Maya at time of eight and she hospitalized. Maya identifies that she viewed Mr. Freeman as a "daddy body". He was the only real man that was an integral part of her life. Being at a young era she thought that Mr. Freeman just liked and cared for her, just like any litttle lady would. But it went further Mr. Freeman eventually pushes her to have sexual intercourse, and threatens her not to tell anybody. In the end, Maya was persuaded that by her telling everyone about Mr. Freeman raping her, however condemning him and resting about the other times he molested her, she caused his death. Convinced that now every time she is, someone will expire, Maya makes a decision to shield others by not speaking to anyone except Bailey. "I had formed discovered that to accomplish perfect personal silence all I had fashioned to do was to add myself leechlike to appear. I began to listen to everything. I probably hoped that when i listened to all the sounds the planet would be peaceful around me" (Caged Bird, 87). The lack of audio in Maya's life because of the rape and is she said under oath acquired become the most crucial thing to her. Her life now became the sound of everybody else, burying the audio she feels can wipe out; her own tone. Maya's writing is easy and she actually is very genuine. Bertolino states that Angelou's explanation of her molestation and rape is just about the most valuable part of her remarkable book. Angelou tells the story actually, without sensationalism, yet with enough palpable fine detail and enough perception so we, the readers, might to understand. (Bloom's Note, 56)

After these complications, Maya and her brother went at Stamps. Smith argues that Maya's subconscious and emotional devastation find a reflection in Stamps' communal devastation. Stamps offers her back again the familiarity and security of well-known cage. She climbs back happily, burning off herself in her silent world, surrendering herself to her own worthlessness. (Modern Critical Views, 9). Mrs Bertha Flowers performed an important role in her life. Mrs. Bouquets allowed Maya to come out of her unhappiness and learned all about many various things. Mrs. Bloom helped Maya to emerge from despair, she says to her "Now nobody will make you talk-possibly no-one can. However, vocabulary is a man's way of conversing with his fellow man which is language exclusively which separates him from the low pet" (Caged Parrot, #). Mrs. Flowers, also presents Maya to reading literature, she discovers that she must be biased of ignorance, but knowledge of the illiteracy, and also Mrs. Bouquets offered her to cookies and tea. Smith argues Mrs Flower opens the door to the caged bird's silence with the main element of approval. For the very first time Maya is accepted as a person somewhat than as a relation to someone else: "I used to be liked, and just what a difference it made. I had been respected not as Mrs. Anderson's grandchild or Bailey's sister but just being Marguerite Johnson" (Caged bird, 98). Such unqualified approval allows her to experience the incipient power of her own self-worth. (Modern Critical Views, 9).

Angelou explains again the inequality between whites and blacks and searched them in "cage". Equivalent education opportunities are also lacking, and the intellectual capacities of blacks are assumed greatly limited; the schools provide an academics curriculum for whites and an athletic one for blacks. "The white kids were going to have a chance to be Galileo and Edison. . . and the (dark) young boys (the girls weren't even in onto it) would make an effort to be Jesse Owenses and Joe Louises, " writes Angelou (Caged Bird, 151). Using both irony and uncomplicated explanation, Angelou confronts racism and gender bias, and will try to sensitize viewers to these issues. Her words come more robust and emotional "It was terrible to be Negro and have no control over my life. It had been brutal to be young and already trained to be seated quietly and pay attention to charges brought against my color without chance of defense. We have to all be dead". (Caged Parrot, 153)

At the graduation service, during which the fascinating expectation of the young graduates and their own families and friends are exploded casually by the words of an oblivious and insensitive white presenter, the young girl comes to know already the desperation of impotence (Modern Critical, 10):

It was awful to be Negro and also have no control over my life. It was brutal to be young and already trained to it quietly and listens to charges brought against my color with no chance of protection. We ought to all be useless. I thought I will like to see us all dead, one on top of the other. (Caged parrot, 153)

Angelou using her stories to show how hard was the life span of black modern culture she was "caged" in dark-colored community. During a Gradation Party Maya gets a toothache and goes to visit a white doctor. The physician won't put his hands in a dark girl's mouth saying: "My coverage is I'd somewhat stick my hand in a dog's mouth area than in a nigger's" (Caged Parrot, 160). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Maya persists her history in 1941 where her mom, Vivian marries Clidell and they move to SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA. Maya and Baily again visited live with Vivian Baxter. Maya taken care of George Washington SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL and the age fourteen received scholarship to wait to California Labor University, where she needed night time classes in a episode and party. In 1943 when Maya was 15 years old she spent a summer with her father at a trailer park in LA. Maya accompanies her dad to a little Mexican town where he proceeds to get certainly drunk, departing her with responsibility to getting them back to Los Angeles. For the first time, Maya sees herself totally in charge for her fate. She never really had driven an automobile but her courage she do. And even though the drive culminates in injuries, she triumphs.

Unable to be friends with her dad and his live-in girl she ran away and lived for 6 weeks in junkyard that was the house of the community of homeless children. Angelou was impressed by this nonjudgmental and self-sufficient group of young transients and she sensed that her experience with them dished up as a kind of initiation into the human race. Recalling this group in Caged Bird Angelou published:

After hunting down unbroken containers and providing them with a white woman from Missouri, a Mexican woman from LA, and a Black color lady from Oklahoma, I was never again to sense myself so solidly beyond your pale of the people. Having less criticism evidenced by our ad hoc community influenced me, and establish a build of tolerance for my entire life" (215).

This moment succeeded by a month spend wrecked car provide her with knowledge of self-determination and a confirmation of her self-worth. With this affirmative knowledge and vitality, while is she was at high school she decide to work and requested a posture as a conductor in streetcars.

Stamps' acquiescence and "cage" is remaining much behind in Arkansas Maya assumes control over her own cultural destiny and involved in the have a problem with life's makes. Braxton argues that another positive personal information experience occurs in the world of work Marguerite is determine to become a "conductor" on the San Francisco streetcars, even though no dark have been appointed previously. She trips the Market Streets Railway Office with "the occurrence of a person on salary" until she actually is hired, breaking the color barrier previously imposed against blacks and obtaining a degree of self-reliance (Modern Critical, 228. )

In her report, Maya concludes, "The black woman is assaulted in her tender time by those common makes of nature at exactly the same time that she actually is captured in the tripartite crossfire of masculine prejudice, white illogical hate and Dark lack of vitality. " (Caged Bird, 231) She has shattered out the rusted pubs of her sociable "cage". (site 11)

Maya become progressively more worried about her body, which to her looked unfeminine and underdeveloped. Though her mother tried to prepared her often, Angelou feared that she was bodily abnormal and commenced to wonder if she could be lesbian. Attempting to assure herself of her erotic identity, Angelou invited a man classmate to have sex with her onetime. The incident led to a pregnancy and also have a baby guy. It is the born of the baby the main move point in Maya's life and her triumph.

Smith states

Maya Angelou's autobiography involves a sense of your finishing: the dark American lady child has flourish in freeing herself from the natural and social pubs imprisoning her in the cage of her diminished self-image by assuming control of her life and completely acceptation her dark-colored womanhood. (Modern critic, 12)

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