Maya Angelou’s excerpt from “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” will imaginatively take a reader away from their deskbound position to envisioning the stage of a play ornamented with fashioned rabbits, buttercups, and daisies, hearing children as they actively perfect their performance, and stimulate the readers’ appetite with the expressive words she uses to describe sweet whiffs of cinnamon and chocolate from the food samples being prepared. From Angelou’s portrayal of the play an individual will be capable of picturing white rabbits crafted from construction paper and cotton balls modelling puffy tails, together with, yellow and pink card board cut outs resembling buttercups and daisies decking a stage. The person who reads this excerpt
Gerald Graff’s argument on how educational systems are missing a great opportunity to tap into “street smarts” and focus them into a path of academic work is indeed convincing (Graff, 198). After all, anyone who’s been through the American educational system knows odds are often stacked against the “street smarts.” This is especially true in english classes, where one is often required to read boring and somewhat heartless books like, 1984, Beowulf, and the majority of Shakespeare’s classics. This is not to say these books are bad or shouldn’t be read during one’s schooling years, instead, the problem is one of apathy. For instance, in my high school years I never even remotely liked to read books Othello, but I loved to read magazines and
Disliking Books by Gerald Graff outlines his growth towards liking books. Graff has received his BA in English from the University of Chicago and his PhD in English and American literature from Stanford University and is currently working as a professor of English and Eduation in the University of Illinois. Graff begins his work with recounting how, as a child, he has an aversion to books regarding history and literature for he cannot find their application to his life. Moreover, students who cultivated these skills are looked down upon and being a Jew, this would put him in danger of being beaten. Observing another side of his argument, he references Lives on the Boundary, in which the author implies that the working class found knowledge as saving grace, however, Graff takes for granted his education as part of the middle class. Frustrated at his avoidance of books, Graff’s father attempts to force him to read many different types of books, though this ended in failure. Once he enters college, where boys of his background are expected to get serious, he knows not of what he is going to do and thus pursued a major in English. At this
Even my talkative teacher was reduced to a slack-jawed stare of awe. As my brief embarrassment and their slight shock quickly passed, I was cheered for. I was the reading champion! The hero of literature that would lead our class to victory! I even earned one of Mrs. Fisher’s rarely-given rewards (a Strawberry
The two poems, “The Barred Owl” and “The History Teacher”, display different ways of soothing child fears and attempting to protect the children's innocence with their tone, rhyme scheme, and humor. Wilbur specifically uses personification with a different point of view than Collins. Collins comes from a more ironic tone in his poem and portrays the history teacher as a protector of the children’s innocence, when in reality, they have already lost it.
In this essay, "Why Literature Matters", author Dana Gioia sets up an argument about literature. Which she uses various ways to persuade her audience be in favor of her proposal; by showing statistic evidence, facts, and historical evidence, as well as some ironies, diction, and the appeals to reader's emotion.
In the “Against Schools” article, author John Gatto describes the modern day schooling system and its flaws. He uses several rhetorical strategies in trying to prove his point. He successfully uses all three types of rhetoric in writing this article, which includes ethos, pathos, and logos. He establishes these strategies very early, and often throughout the article. He believes one issues with today’s schooling system is boredom, and that there is a distinct difference between what it means to be educated and schooled. He uses his experience as a public school teacher in his effort to exercise this opinion that he has, which establishes his first rhetoric strategy.
In the selection, “Strange Tools,” Richard Rodriguez explains how he started reading books to excel academically, as if books were merely a peculiar means of improving himself. He begins his writing by showing the reader his initial experiences with reading. He conveys that neither of his parents read for pleasure, but simply for business or as a way to communicate with distant family; he never saw his parents read an entire book.
The proposal that adolescents’ interest in literature has diminish in America is clearly voiced by Dana Gioia, in the article, “Why Literature Matters”. Although, Gioia used different methods to persuade his readers, one way he tried to persuade is by indicating the disadvantages of not reading in society today.
In the beginning of the essay he talks a lot about the education of the ages between 18-24. In college the number of literature diminished and the attendance declined. The author includes “The most worrisome finding in the 2002 study, however, is the declining percentage of Americans, especially young adults, reading literature.” Furthermore, if the decline of literature is going down in college, it will become a problem throughout the student's whole life.
The lessons and stories that books tell have had the greatest impact on society, altering our views about morality, politics, race, class, gender, sexuality, and religion. While carnal and courtly readers treasure the physical form of their books (albeit in different ways), all true readers are enthralled with the inventive stories, lovable characters, and eloquent language hidden between the covers. Written language has been presented in many forms over its long history in human culture, from clay tablets in Mesopotamia to papyrus scrolls in ancient Egypt and printed copies in the fifteenth century to electronic reading devices in the twenty-first. It has also conveyed many diverse opinions, pieces of information, and stories. While the earliest Mesopotamian tablets contained information about inventory and trade, novels of the twenty and twenty-first centuries have pushed the boundaries of language in their storytelling. All the vast knowledge, wisdom, and even misgivings in books have tremendously impacted society. These works have altered our perceptions and changed the way we conduct our personal, intellectual, religious, and professional lives. Throughout its history, a book’s subject and message have remained its most essential
“A Caged Bird” is a poem by Maya Angelou, that describes the struggle of a bird ascending from the restrictions with adverse surroundings. The poem renders the oppression that has affected African Americans over the years. As Angelou explains, the bird fights its imprisonment even with fear, but rises above with the stance of freedom. “Phenomenal Women” by Maya Angelou discusses beauty being in the eye of the beholder. You don’t have to have a perfect physique or focus entirely on outer beauty. Inner beauty has more definition, she explains that women should appreciate their flaws. After all there is only one of you and everyone was created differently.
In this article “ Why literature matters” by Dana Gioia explains that American art has changed. It points out the fact that literary knowledge is declining. Some of the changes that were pointed out is that most people no longer read. His main purpose is to encourage people to begin to read again and that will help them improve their intellectual level. In the article Gioia expresses reasoning and includes evidence of the importance of reading.
Trapped. Nowhere to go and no one to turn to. You sing. But does your song really reach anyone? If you ever felt this way you certainly would have felt like the birds in these poems. In the poems “Sympathy” by Paul Laurence Dunbar and “Caged Bird” by Maya Angelou, both portray captive birds that sing. However in “Sympathy”, the bird pleads with god for freedom, whereas in “Caged Bird” the captive bird calls for help from a free bird.
The world is no stranger to oppression. Madness driven from an inferiority complex based on racial stigma. Prohibition of freedom being yet another way to inflate this expanding social divide between the oppressors and the oppressed, between white and black. Within the poem I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, this concept of social division due to the desire of freedom and the desire to restrict the freedom of others is explored through the implementation of a variety of literary devices: symbolism, metaphors, sudden tone shifts, and a constant underlying allegory. Driven by her own experiences being raised during a time period where segregation and racism were acceptable behavior amongst the masses, Angelou illustrates this problematic normalization of discrimination through the juxtaposition of a free bird to a caged bird to convey the theme of oppression and the hope of freedom brought on by such.