Sympathy Poem Analysis

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One author’s works are easily influenced by another’s. The poem “Sympathy” probably influenced the memoir I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. Both of the works probably influenced the book Speak. All three of the works discuss a lack of freedom. The Bird is trapped in a cage and cannot escape no matter how hard it tries in “Sympathy.” Maya Angelou feels oppressed by society at the time in I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. Melinda Sordino represses her emotions and feelings in Speak. The poem "Sympathy" by Paul Laurence Dunbar revolves around a bird that is trapped in a cage. Dunbar describes how the bird feels and reflects the image of the bird onto himself. Like the bird, Dunbar dreams about "the [bright] sun” (Dunbar 2) and “the [soft, stirring]…show more content…
Throughout the novel, Melinda mentions IT and a party that occurred last summer, but she never gives any specific details. Near the end, she reveals that Andy Evans, or IT, raped her at the previously mentioned party, at which she called the police. Ironically, the title of Speak comes from the lack of dialogue from Melinda. The author directly says that “[she doesn’t] send messages [and that she] try to tell good stories.” (Anderson 204) Despite this, a message displayed by the book could be the importance of speaking up about a person’s problems. Maya Angelou’s story is very similar to Melinda’s story and Maya Angelou even appears in Speak in the form of a poster covering a mirror in the Janitor’s…show more content…
At their core, all three books focus on suppressing something.The works involve very different things being suppressed. In the first, a bird is suppressed by a cage. In the second, Maya is suppressed by society and racism. In the third, Melinda is suppressed by her own feelings and, to an extent, IT, or Andy Evans. Each work deals with the repression of freedom in a unique

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