”(11-13) This pressure won her, and countless other integrationists, their inherent rights to equality and, eventually, acceptance. Another instance that showcases the impact of freeing the oppressed can be found in the metaphors of the free and caged birds as described by Maya Angelou. Her portrayal of the caged bird against that of the free bird shows a stark contrast that can be eliminated once he is freed. She describes his present state, writing, “The free bird leaps/ on the back of the wind/ and floats downstream/ till the current ends/and dips his wings/ in the orange sun rays/ and dares to claim the sky.// But a bird that stalks/ down his narrow cage/ can seldom see through/ his
Great literature can open discussion about values and morals. Reading such texts can spark discussion of issues like racism, bigotry, and sexism. Reading can teach individuals about topics they have never experienced before. However, in Francine Prose’s essay, I Know Why the Caged Bird Cannot Read, she argues that using literature to teach outside values is wrong because it takes away from the art of the text. Though I believe that books contain important topics that can spark discussions of values in classrooms, I agree with Prose that teachers shouldn’t use books as a way to explicitly teach students outside values.
I feel the “Caged Bird” represents the history of black people in the U.S. along with how people feel and felt about it. The caged bird has old scars which are like slaves that have terrible memories or scars from when they were slaves. The bird is suffering in pain, it can't forget, it is angry, but still has faith. Even though black people are not slaves anymore they still get treated with a little disrespect. Even today people feel like a caged bird; different races treat each other poorly, and people think once they get into something they cant get out.
“I WOULD BE A CONDUCTORETTE ND SLING A FULL MONEY CHANGER FROM MY BELT”Maya was told she was not going to be successful because of her skin tone. Maya was discriminated against and judged her whole life but something inside her would not let her stop striving for success. The historical setting of I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, encouraged Maya to be a strong and persistent person because of events that occurred in her life. There had been many female streetcar conductors; however, there had not been any African American female streetcar conductors.
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.
The oppression is binding the bird to its cage while the bird hopes and prays that someone will hear him so that he can leave this maiming tyranny. In addition in “Caged Bird” the bird is singing with mighty voice that was conceived by the rage that the bird felt toward the oppression that was trapping it. The tune that the bird sings is described as, “The caged bird sings,/ with a fearful trill,/ of things unknown”(Angelou, 30-32). The bird is illustrating the anger that it felt, by fighting the tyranny that he is facing. The tyranny is holding him down and the rage that the bird feels from this pain is what the bird symbolizes.
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. In “Sympathy” the bird knows what freedom feels like since there was a time where the bird was once free, but now is trapped. In the first stanza the use of imagery revealed how freedom felt before the bird was caged.
She shows us that despite the injustices that may occur, there will always be victory for those who truly deserve it. Maya Angelou's perspective as a young African American girl is described in Chapter 19 of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, titled Champion of the World. Her community is gathered to support Joe Louis, the former champion, in a boxing match that determines if he'll continue being champion or not. As the story progresses in her grandmother's and uncle’s store, the tone transforms from hopeful to defeated, to triumphant.
In two poems “Sympathy” written by Paul Laurence Dunbar and “Caged Bird” written by Maya Angelou talk about a poor bird that is trapped in a cage and wants to be free. It longs for everything that the free bird has but it cannot achieve it. In both of the poems, there is a use of comparisons between freedom and nature. It is also interpreted from the poems that the use of a song is a form of coping for the birds. Both of the birds sing for their freedom and sing through their pain.
Caged Bird both share a very common theme; segregation, slavery, and imprisonment. According to the poem Sympathy, “Till its blood is red on the cruel bar… I know why he beats his wings.” And from the poem Caged Bird, “…His bars of rage…so he opens his throat to sing.” These quotes show that both birds are treated like slaves. The bird from Sympathy was shipped until the back is full of blood and the bird from Caged Bird was held in a dungeon where it will die.
What is the difference from wrong or right? Is there a defined right choice or are there multiple right choices? From the beginning the novel I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou the speaker grows from a child into a young adult, but what is life without problems? Maya is a negro child growing up around the period of World War Two, where racism is a constant and being discriminated against is a part of everyday life. A common theme that is found in this novel is the theme of maturity.
The bird is interpreted as the symbol of the African-American people, beating their metaphorical wings against their past cages of slavery, and the current cage of segregation and discrimination. Dunbar highlights this notion, declaring, “I know why the caged bird sings, ah me, / When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore, - / When he beats his bars and he would be free; / It is not a carol of joy or glee” (Dunbar, “Sympathy” 555). Dunbar addresses the fact that he is able to relate to this bird, and mentions the fact that the bird wishes it could be free; much like the African-Americans wished they could be free from discrimination at the time, while the bruises on the bird’s wings and body symbolize the mental abuse being enforced. Dunbar uses his poem to lay the groundwork for future forms of African-American literature by perpetrating the desire for freedom and equality.
Deciding to take matters into his own hands, Tom ran for it even though he knew there were high risks of him being killed, which shows how the caged bird in the poem “Caged Bird” is much like him. In the poem “Caged Bird” by Maya Angelou, the caged bird is compared and contrasted to a free bird and by examining the circumstances of Tom Robinson’s life, I say that he is very much like the caged bird. For instance, in stanza two it’s stated “His wings are clipped and/ His feet are tied/ So he opens his throat to sing.”
Lines one through seven define the free bird as one that “floats downstream till the current ends and dips his wing in the orange sun rays” (Angelou) this is a representation of freedom and joy. The second and third stanza lines, eight through fourteen defines the caged bird that “stalks down his narrow cage can seldom see through his bars of rage” (Angelou) where these words reference isolation and despair compared to the freedom in stanza one. These lines create a visual response of the bird’s environments. The third stanza is repeated at the end of the poem for prominence as it reflects the two birds are so different.