Abstract: This paper deals with one of the autobiographical series of Maya Angelou as how she grew up black and female.Dominant in Angelou’s autobiography is the exploration of the self – the self in relationship to the others. One of the central concerns in this study is the exploration of a particular kind of self and identity that emerges from her writings. A study of Maya Angelou’s autobiography is significant not only because it offers insights into personal and group experience in America, but also because it is better than its formidable autobiographical predecessors. Angelou, throughout her autobiographical writing, adopts a special stance in relation to the self, the community and the world. Key words: struggle, exploration of the …show more content…
In 1970 she was appointed as writer-in-Residence at the University of Kansas and as a Yale University Fellow. Maya published here, the first of her five-volume autobiographical series, beginning with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Through the device of autobiography, Angelou has celebrated the richness and vitality of Southern Black life and the sense of community that persists in the face of poverty and racial prejudice, initially revealing this celebration through a portrait of life as experienced by a Black child in the Arkansas of the 1930s (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, 1979). The second volume (Gather Together in My Name, 1974) delineates a young woman struggling to create an existence that provides security and love in Post-World War II America. The third (Singin’ and Swingin’ and Getting’ Merry like Christmas, 1976) presents a young, married adult in the 1950’s seeking a carrer in show business and experiencing her first amiable contact with the Whites. The fourth volume (the Heart of Woman, 1980) shows a wiser, more mature woman in the 1960’s examining the roles of being a woman and a mother. In her most recent volume, All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes (1986), Angelou goes beyond familiar borders in order to see and understand the world from another’s vantage
In the African American literary tradition there are various forms of texts. After close analysis of different genres it is apparent that there is a clear tradition that connects each character and plot line. These traditions has to do with Self-discovery, self-love, self-Growth and, Adversity. Even though each piece of text we looked at involved a different kind of experience for the individual each one connected in that they all shared these traditions. Self-discovery, and growth appears especially in the novels
Born on April 4, 1928 and died on May 28, 2014(bio.com). Maya Angelou was known for her famous memoir in 1969, I know why the Caged Bird Sings(bio.com). I chose her because she inspires me to do more than what I am doing. While she was alive, she was an author, actress, screenwriter, dancer, and poet. This essay will talk about her life and her accomplishments and what she went threw.
The inequality and disparity of the racist society is seen in these events, as well as in the dentist’s incident and the insult of the “powhitetrash girls”. Maya Angelou in her work tried to show the struggles the Black men, women and children faced and how they survived. Such experiences are not told only to show the history of the black people, but also to find how Angelou’s inner world was created and how she evolved. There are social, psychological and geographic occasions that helped Maya in the process of personal development.
Maya Angelou once said, “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” This quote of hers invokes strength and courage through her tone and use of stylistic devices. Maya Angelou beliefs on the human spirit and freedom are of strength and courage. Her beliefs are interpreted by her style from four of her works of literature: an excerpt from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, “New Directions,” “Caged Bird,” and “Woman Work.”
The memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou follows Angelou’s upbringing as she moves about the country while navigating struggles involving her race and self perception. Throughout the memoir a particular struggle Angelou faces and ultimately grows from is the presence of imposed expectations. Through her use of diction, Angelou demonstrates the effect of societal expectation on the African American community in the segregated United States, ultimately revealing a personal degraded perception of her race, a determination to defy expectation, and a call for change. First Angelou establishes her denoted perception of her race and depleted self image through her use of specific diction and religious allusion. During the radio broadcast of Joe Louis’ fight Angelou theorizes that if Louis lost then it was “true that we were stupid and ugly and lazy and dirty and, unlucky” ( Angelou 135).
She was a remarkable woman who over came the worst, to become a role model, as well as one of the most successful and passionate black women writers. Angelou has written many autobiographies and novels, some influenced by a tragic experience in Angelou’s life. In Angelou’s most popular and most controversial novel, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou breaks silence about the harsh realties of sexual assault, loss of innocence, and changes opinions about rape victims. Angelou relates to Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel Speak through her many similarities with the main character, Melinda, and Angelou. Angelou is an inspirational figure which guides Melinda to overcome silence and speak out.
Over the years, Maya Angelou has become a very influential figure in African-American history. Maya Angelou, known initially as Marguerite Annie Johnson, was born on April 4, 1928. During her life, she was known for being a dancer, author, and activist. She has written many works of literature, including 7 autobiographies, and two albums. Maya’s dancing, her autobiography “I Know why Why the Caged Bird sings”, and activism are some of the things she is well-known for and are some ways that she influenced the world.
What was it like living in the world of an African American woman in the 1940s? An excerpt from the book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings titled “Occupation: Conductorette” is an autobiography by Maya Angelou. Maya shares her story of how she was discriminated against throughout her life, specifically her teenage years. By examining the autobiography and explanations, the reader will understand how minorities, specifically African Americans, were treated and discriminated against in the 1940s and 50s. Discrimination has always been illustrated in our nation; Maya Angelou experiences this throughout her life and in the workforce.
Graduation- Rhetorical Devices Maya Angelou’s “Graduation” essay shares the epitome of racial pride in the 1940’s. Written from the point of view of Marguerite Johnson, a younger Maya Angelou, she describes the anxiety and preparation of her graduation from junior high into the proud Negro race. Angelou traces her maturation throughout the day by using her ever-changing use of juxtaposition, irony, and historical allusions.
In “Momma, the Dentist, and Me,” Maya Angelou describes Mommas’ struggle during racial segregation in a childhood memory and in a rare but glorious case is overcome. Angelou recalls when she and Momma, her grandmother, go to the dentist for a toothache severe enough that young Angelou contemplates death to feel relief from the excruciating pain. Angelou imagines her Momma’s actions in the dentist's office after being turned down heroically. Angelou demonstrates a small victory over racism with Momma’s actions as she stands valiantly against racial injustice. In order to strengthen her narrative, Angelou employs imagery, hyperbole, and tone effectively.
By the 1970s Toni Cade’s the Black Woman: An Anthology (2005) featured many other black women in public to use their literary voice. In I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou recounts many explosive incidents of the racial discrimination she experienced as a child. In the 1930s, Stamps was a fully segregated town. Maya uses a lot of metaphors to talk about racism.
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.
Angelou’s tone perfectly illustrates the rite of passage from childhood to adulthood. She writes joyously, with a hint of sadness and malcontentment reflecting the racial prejudices of the South during the 1940s. She uses phrases like “sunlight itself was young” and describes herself as “the center of the moment” to convey the excitement and joy she felt as a child on the days leading up to her graduation. She also interjects more sobering statements, such as when she speaks of “hanging ropes of parasitic moss and speaks of wishing everybody dead to characterize the struggle of African Americans during the 40s. The tone of these segments is malcontentment, sadness, and anger over the subjugation of blacks
Maya Angelou recalls the first seventeen years of her life, discussing her unsettling childhood in her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Maya and Bailey were sent from California to the segregated South to live with their grandmother, Momma. At the age of eight, Maya went to stay with her mother in St. Louis, where she was sexually abused and raped by her mother’s boyfriend, Mr. Freeman. Maya confronts these traumatic events of her childhood and explores the evolution of her own strong identity. Her individual and cultural feelings of displacement, caused by these incidents of sexual abuse, are mediated through her love for literature.
Maya Angelou worked as a professor at Wake Forest University, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, from 1991 to 2014. As an African American women, one whose life was full of racial discrimination and gender inequality, she had plenty of experience and wisdom to share with her students. During her time working at the university, she taught a variety of humanities courses such as “World Poetry in Dramatic Performance,” “Race, Politics and Literature,” “African Culture and Impact on U.S.,” and “Race in the Southern Experience” (Wake Forest University,