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I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings Rhetorical Devices

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Rhetorical analysis of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
“I was really white and because a cruel fairy stepmother, who was understandably jealous of my beauty, had turned me into a too-big Negro girl, with nappy black hair, broad feet and a space between her teeth that would hold a number-two pencil” (Angelou 19). Maya Angelou was only a little girl when she realized that she was different than all the other little girls; racism had already affected her life significantly. The times she grew up in and the way society changed around her were some of the reasons she wrote the book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. In this book, Angelou talks about how adventures, romance, and adversity changed her through the eyes of her young self. Through the …show more content…

In chapter thirteen, for example, when Angelou is describing how the she felt and thought at age eight, although she did not really know what to think, she states, “The gamblers in pinstriped suits and their makeup-deep women whispered to me out of blood-red mouths that now I knew as much as they did. I was eight, and grown. Even the nurses in the hospital had told me that now I had nothing to fear. ‘The worst is over for you,’ they had said. So I put the words in all the smirking mouths” (Angelou 183). In saying this, Angelou establishes that she feels like an adult but the reader does not know why. Many think it was because of the rape, others think that are there other factors. By establishing this, the readers understand that in some ways her identity was out of her control and that she is both a girl and woman at the same time yet she feels like neither; although she struggled with her identity she never gave up hope with knowledge that everything was going to be alright. Later, Angelou uses religion to evoke the reader’s emotions and make them think deeply about why religion seems to be a security blanket: it makes all the bad things seem a little better. For example, in chapter eighteen the town was holding a revival the pastor states, “The mean white folks was going to get their comeuppance. Wasn't that what …show more content…

She uses logos in the form of logical appeal when the narrator states“It seemed terribly unfair to have a toothache and a headache and have to bear at the same time the heavy burden of Blackness” (Angelou 399). Going to the dentist was a pain on its own but add racism into the mix and things get a lot more complicated. Even something as basic as sufficient medical care is impossible to ensure in the racist South. This quote is logical because a person should not have to suffer because of their race, they should not have to carry it around like some burden. Having to endure racism for most of her life made Angelou a very strong willed person; because she shared her story it makes the readers thinks about how privileged their lives are and that it makes sense to stand up for the reason that it can make a

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