Compare And Contrast Angelou And Paul Laurence Dunbar

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The human connection to birds is a fascinating thing that is often depicted in stories. Humans want to be free like birds and fly away from the troubles that are present in their life. Birds reflect the image of freedom in life, so it’s no wonder that the Bald Eagle is the emblem of the United States; a country built on the principles of freedom and equality. Two famous poets by the names of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Maya Angelou used the image of the bird to describe how they felt in their own life. Even though Dunbar wrote in the Reconstruction Era and Angelou wrote around the time of the Civil Rights Movement, their ideas were almost identical. Angelou and Dunbar show similarities when they describe feeling trapped like caged birds, but their portrayal of the birds contrast in their actions…show more content…
When he became older, he took a job as an elevator operator as he was unable to attend college due to money troubles. Dunbar self-published Oak and Ivy in 1893 and to pay for the publishing expenses sold the book for a dollar to passengers in the elevator (“Paul Laurence Dunbar”). Dunbar went on to write 11 more poetry books and a couple of short stories and novels. Although he was a successful and published author, Dunbar dealt with racism almost all of his life. He struggled to find a job after being rejected from multiple businesses because of his race. His poem Sympathy is just one example of how he felt trapped like a caged bird in his life. Even though the Civil War was over, African Americans still did not have as many privileges and opportunities as most White people had. Most of Dunbar’s writing showed his perspective of life and the struggles that came with it. Maya Angelou was born in 1928 and suffered a hard childhood that later on affected her writing. When she was eight years old, Maya was sexually abused and raped by her mother’s boyfriend. After he was found guilty, the man was murdered and it was thought that it was by Maya’s
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