Literary Elements In Maya Angelou's Life

Powerful Essays
Maya Angelou is truly an inspiration for all. She sheds light on many topics and fought hard against her oppression. She pulls her writing from a very deep place and she shares every bit of herself within her writing. Maya Angelou was an amazing American author who used literary elements within the autobiographies she wrote about the tragic events of her life.
Maya Angelou’s early childhood was full of terrible things and horrific events. She was unhappy that she was born a black girl in a world “created by and for white men” (Arsenburg 112). Her mother abandoned her at a very young age and send her and her young brother Bailey alone on a train to Stamps to live with their grandparents. After Bailey is forced by whites to “recover
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She does this in order to make them a more interesting read. Angelou was challenged by her publisher to turn an autobiography into fiction, and thus she began writing her life with literary elements put into it (Walker 77). She recreates herself in childhood form in order to “reclaim the horror of childhood sexual abuse from statistical anonymity” (Henke 243). Angelou uses repetition and mirroring in Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry like Christmas to show similarities in her young life to her adult life, such as leaving her son with her mother like her own mother did to her. She also uses capitalization to show importance. After meeting her mother she is dumbstruck by her realness and from then on in the book the word “mother” is capitalized (Arsenburg 118). In that same scene Angelou uses foreshadowing when she is struck silent by the thought of having a real family, foreshadowing her muteness after the betrayal (Vermillion 67). Foreshadowing is very rarely used in autobiographies, but Angelou manages to make it a beautiful thing. Angelou is praised for many of her literary choices and her “most valued technique...may be the precision she describes objects or places, a precision so sharp that readers carry that description with them, even when the book is closed” (Lupton 69). The way Angelou describes the setting reflects her mood and what is going on at that time in her life (Lupton 64). When Angelou is raped, she recounts it in a “controlled style… deliberately constrained by biblical allusions” (Henke 248). She uses biblical allusion to show that “the act of rape on an eight-year-old body is a matter of the needle giving because the camel can’t , the child gives because the body can, and the mind of the violator cannot” (Henke 248). She also “reveals the manner by which an adult manipulates a child’s desire for love as a thin camouflage for his own crude
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