An Analysis Of Poem In Maya Angelou's Caged Bird

985 Words4 Pages
An Unjust System Freedom does not feel ‘free’ to all people, as many have struggled throughout the centuries to reach the treasured outcome of freedom that Americans so often speak pridefully of. An excerpt from Shaker, Why Don’t You Sing?, “Caged Bird” is a stand-alone poem written by Maya Angelou in 1983. In the poem “Caged Bird,” Maya Angelou displays the drastic differences between the “free” whites and the “caged” blacks by emphasizing the endless freedom that Caucasians historically have had, while African Americans have had to live in the midst of fear. The African American voice is evident in this poem through the “caged bird” as the speaker powerfully demonstrates her thoughts being opposed to a “free” bird, which is presumably Caucasian Americans. The caged bird has limited opportunity, which is clear as the bird is trapped inside a “narrow cage” (“Caged Bird” 9). Living in the cage is not all, however, as the bird must…show more content…
To emphasize this hopelessness, she repeats from earlier that the bird’s wings are clipped, and his feet are tied. Stevenson weighs in on the issue saying, “hopelessness is present in poor, African American communities because of the outcomes for people in their demographic” ("We Need to Talk About an Injustice"). As African Americans have been taken advantage of, the only option remaining has been to sing for freedom against the oppressive forces, which they understand they must do, in order to strive for justice. He sings in the midst of racism and judgment and is heard on the distant hill. The repetition of “fearful trill” (“Caged Bird” 16, 32) indicates the significance of fear that Angelou implies in the voice of the caged bird. This use of singing also has historical implications, as the voice was often how African Americans sought freedom during the years of

More about An Analysis Of Poem In Maya Angelou's Caged Bird

Open Document