I know why the caged bird sings. New York: Random House. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is the autobiography of Maya Angelou. This is the story of Maya Angelou coming of age living in a southern town while facing racism. Maya was sent from California to the south to live with her grandmother.
Her life was not an easy one but she overcame adversity and created some of the most beautiful pieces of literature, as well as poetry, of the 20th century. Her works prove that you may come from a horrible background but you are able to become someone worth something in the eyes of society. Maya Angelou wanted equality for all and therefor fought alongside Martin Luther King Jr. in the Civil Right Movement of the 60’s.
Rhetorical Analysis: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings In her memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Maya Angelo commemorates and admires strong independent black women and strives to become a well-educated woman herself. Through the use of visual imagery, Angelou describes Mrs. Flowers as a refined black woman to convey to the audience a feeling of pride and recognition for all sophisticated black women and a sense of empathy for Maya. Maya compares Mrs. Flowers to the “women in English novels” who had the luxury to sit “in front of roaring fireplaces” and drink “tea incessantly from silver trays” (93). The visual description of the “fireplace” and “tea” demonstrates to the reader the value that white women have in this society.
Just like Douglass’ speech, Angelou’s poem greatly reflects discrimination and just how little people’s opinions about her do not mean anything. Maya Angelou one stated, “Up from a past that’s rooted in pain I rise.” (pg. 3) She mentions that even if she may come from a past layered in gut-wrenching pain, no matter what has been thrown at her, she will look beyond them. Angelou also mentions, “Bringing the gifts thay my ancestors gave, I am the dream and hope of the slave.”
Showing the free bird to be the white people who have freedom and the caged bird to be the black people with nothing. This helped show how important freedom was for black people. Both poems used a number of literary techniques to help portray their overall
III. a. Maya Angelou was an avid writer, speaker, activist and teacher. As a result of the many hardships that she suffered while growing up as a poor black woman in the south she has used her own experiences as the subject matter of her written work. In doing this she effectively shows how she was able to overcome her personal obstacles. Her autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1970) tells the story of her life and how she overcame and moved forward triumphantly in spite of her circumstances.
Once again, Maya Angelou manages to touch our hearts again with her poetic skills in Chapter 19 titled The Champion of the World in her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. She recalls a time in her life where the African American community gathered at her grandmother's and uncle's store to hear a boxing match via radio. The boxing match was between the former champion Joe Louis and a white boxer. Maya Angelou takes the meaning of a simple boxing match into something more complex; she demonstrates the suffrage of her people fighting against oppression during that time period.
The singing caged bird in the article refers to her having no other means to change her situation other than "singing," that is using literary works such as poetry and novels. 2. During the interview with the poet, comedian Chappelle admitted
In the autobiographical novel, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sing, Maya Angelou recounts her struggles of living in Stamps, Arkansas as an young African American girl along with her brother, Bailey. Maya and Bailey together had to learn how to survive with their grandmother and crippled uncle as they both had a difficult childhood as a result of racism and having a an unstable family. In the poem, “Caged Bird” by Maya Angelou, Angelou uses a caged bird as a metaphor for an African American living in the United States. The caged bird has the ability to live in a world that has beauty and opportunities in it, but has limitations against it. The caged bird attempts to fly, sing, and be free, but its voice is not heard and cannot fly away.
The author uses personification which expresses the theme because it shows people saying mean things about the speaker, but they keep moving on. In the poem Angelou states, “You may shoot me with your words, / You may cut me with your eyes, / You may kill me with your hatefulness” (21-23). This literary device is used to show that the speaker will keep moving on no matter what people say about them and how it is relatable because sometimes you get that look from someone. Another device Maya Angelou uses is a simile because she shows that even though people are saying all this mean stuff the speaker is still happy and joyful. Maya Angelou states, “Like dust, I’ll rise” (4).
(Davis) “Caged Bird” is the poem which lead to Angelou’s autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” 1970, (Davis) and in 1979 was made into a major motion picture. (IMDB) This poem addresses the feelings of isolation and segregation which allows the reader to travel the path of Angelou during the social injustice
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.