Close Reading: The Awakening Chapter I-XIII In the story, the birds symbolize women and flight represents freedom. The birds are in a cage which inhibits their flight; this can be compared to women in captivity lacking freedom. What’s important to point out is that the bird, specifically the one mentioned in the passage, speaks a language that only other birds can understand.
The bird is interpreted as the symbol of the African-American people, beating their metaphorical wings against their past cages of slavery, and the current cage of segregation and discrimination. Dunbar highlights this notion, declaring, “I know why the caged bird sings, ah me, / When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore, - / When he beats his bars and he would be free; / It is not a carol of joy or glee” (Dunbar, “Sympathy” 555). Dunbar addresses the fact that he is able to relate to this bird, and mentions the fact that the bird wishes it could be free; much like the African-Americans wished they could be free from discrimination at the time, while the bruises on the bird’s wings and body symbolize the mental abuse being enforced. Dunbar uses his poem to lay the groundwork for future forms of African-American literature by perpetrating the desire for freedom and equality.
In “Elanor Rigby” loneliness is a major recurring theme throughout the song. In the second stanza, Eleanor is introduced as a woman who cannot face the world as herself. She wears a “face that she keeps in a jar by the door” (Eleanor Rigby, lines 6-7). Literally, this can be interpreted as makeup or a form of mask.
These images portray the harrowing feeling of desolation she is experiencing. The patriarchal Victorian society often compared images of Birds to women. They saw a bird as caged, fragile, and beautiful, who like a woman needed to protect her nest, but the bird must be nurtured, because on her own she was incapable, and vulnerable. (The British Library, 2014).
Throughout human history, cases of racism, segregation, and the denial of woman’s suffrage have made ubiquitous appearances in America; in simpler terms, the natural rights of African Americans and women have been ignored. In these times of injustice, two obscure American citizens, a poet and a speaker, made monumental influences on the rights that people have today. Paul Laurence Dunbar, a great African-American poet, and Susan B. Anthony, a woman’s suffrage activist, each wrote a great piece of literature that showed their struggles for equal rights. Although Dunbar’s poem, “Sympathy,” and Anthony’s speech, “After Being Convicted Of Voting In The 1872 Presidential Election,” have the same theme of having equal rights among everyone, these authors’ purpose and expression of these two texts have different aspects to it that set it
Authors use characters and genres to develop theme. Sometimes different genres can be used to build the same theme. In the poem, “The Lesson of the Moth,” poet Don Marquis uses the protagonist, a moth, to teach the narrator, Archy, a cockroach, what it is like to have a dream worth dying for. Similarly, Daniel Keyes, author of “Flowers for Algernon,” a short story, uses the main character, Charlie Gordon, a mentally disabled man who longs to be smart, to develop the idea that it is better to risk to achieve happiness rather than to live wondering what life could have been like. Both the poet and the author use the main character in their literary work to contribute to the idea that risking something is worth even momentary happiness.
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver uses birds to represent several of the main characters in the novel. Taylor saw in the desert birds nesting in a cactus which shows the connection between several characters in the novel. Turtle represents the birds in the nest because she is depending on taylor just like the birds depend on the cactus for shelter. Also it shows how how turtle in not where she is meant to be because birds usually nest on trees.
Her need for privacy and her pride which was offended when the Cameramen mentioned that they were filming for a food stamp film. The “Mockin Bird” represents the Mocking Bird, generally found in the south, is a bird that chirps a happy tune, which, is the opposite of the blues, a melancholy
The entire poem consists of various metaphors of racial segregation present in the society Angelou was born into. The caged bird symbolizes the oppression and suffering of people of color, whilst the free bird symbolizes the ideal society of freedom, a society lacking prejudice and discrimination. A society that, during the time in which Angelou struggled to thrive, was only available to those who were white. The caged bird 's song represents the sustaining hope of achieving this idealistic society in which all are treated with equal worth.
The differences in the two poems is that Sympathy has a more aggressive tone to it than Caged Bird. According to Sympathy, “…Bird beats his wing till its blood is red on the cruel bars.” This shows an aggressive side by describing how bad the bird want to be free. On the other hand, the poem Caged Bird is less aggressive because it relieves the pin by singing. The poem states that the bird shouts a nightmare scream and that the bird feels tired of being trapped and wants to get out all the emotions the bird was holding.
African American’s had a feeling of being trapped inside a cage, wishing they could get out and enjoy the other areas of life the same way whites were allowed too. Springtime to the bird is what freedom means to Paul Laurence Dunbar. Feeling of oppression, as well as the helplessness of being a slave to another were the emotions that Dunbar wanted to express by using the caged bird as a literary device. “Sympathy” is a famous American poem, but only a small piece of the fully creative, poetic caliber of Paul Laurence
Both African American men and women have had the strength to put up with racial comments and slurs they have been told all their lives. In the speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” by Frederick Douglass and the poem, “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou, are perfect examples to show how white Americans used to treat the African American people. White Americans back then, and even in modern day, would talk down about them, hoping to break down their self confidence even more than it already has been. This may be true to others, but to Douglass and Angelou, they do not let the heartless words of others define who they are as an individual.
III. a. Maya Angelou was an avid writer, speaker, activist and teacher. As a result of the many hardships that she suffered while growing up as a poor black woman in the south she has used her own experiences as the subject matter of her written work. In doing this she effectively shows how she was able to overcome her personal obstacles. Her autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1970) tells the story of her life and how she overcame and moved forward triumphantly in spite of her circumstances.
Maya Angelou was a civil rights activist, poet, and award-winning author known for her 1969 memoir, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, which was the first non-fiction bestseller by an African-American woman; concluding in leaving a great trace in the literary history. Behind Maya Angelou’s successful work, she used to have a difficult childhood; beginning from her parents splitting up, then experiencing racial prejudices when she and her brother moved to Arkansas to live with their father’s mother, to being raped at age seven by her mother’s boyfriend during a visit. As a result, for this sexual assault, Angelou’s uncles killed the boyfriend, since then, Angelou spent five years as a virtual mute. Under those circumstances, Angelou felt