One's Environment In 'I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings'

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The Effects of One’s Environment: A Nurture Analysis Many features of one’s personality is associated with upbringing. According to S.J Holmes, the debate between nurture versus nature, explains the importance of one’s environment and its impacts on someone’s mental development, growth, and personality (245). Maya Angelou displays the toxic environment she grew up in with her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. With S.J Holmes explanation, it is shown how Angelou’s negative environment has caused emotional issues and conflicted with her perception of what is a positive and what is a negative relationships. In I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, many aspects of her life causes her emotional damage and low self esteem which is displayed…show more content…
Angelou’s mother, Vivian Baxter, was not involved in most of Angelou’s childhood, abandoning her children at her mother’s, Momma. Even though Baxter is not directly involved in Angelou’s life, the abandonment still affects Angelou as she describes why she thinks her mother abandoned her and Bailey and sent them to their grandmother, “She was too beautiful to have children. I had never seen a woman as pretty as she who called “mother.” Bailey on his part fell instantly and forever in love. I saw his eyes shining like hers; he had forgotten the loneliness and the nights when we had cried together because we were unwanted children.” (Angelou 59). Angelou feels as if they were an embarrassment to their mother which meant she had to get rid of them, and that Baxter had other important priorities that were above loving her children. She blames herself for her mother 's abandonment instead of her mother who left them to comfort themselves in their loneliness and in their tears. This plays a role on Angelou’s development, making her mature and fend for herself and her older brother Bailey at such a young age, when it should be her mother’s role to comfort them in their sadness and despair. The lose of a mother 's bond and comfort affects Angelou’s development and self esteem due to her feeling isolated with her emotions and not having a mother to
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