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I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

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I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

  1. 1. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. By: Maya Angelou Tasfia Ali Summer Seek 2014
  2. 2. Overview • Thesis Statement • Summary on context • Arguments • Social Issue Description • Racial Issue Description • Review • Conclusion
  3. 3. Thesis Statement In Maya Angelou’s first autobiographical piece, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya and her family encounter many different social issues for being an African American family living in the small town of Stamps, Arkansas.
  4. 4. Summary on Context I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is an autobiography on the early stages of Maya Angelou’s life. It discusses all the hardships and troubles Maya encountered with her family. They lived in a society where blacks meant nothing and were treated unfairly. Living in the southern town of Stamps, Arkansas, Maya dealt with it all. She was an insecure girl who has been through racial and social issues most of her childhood. This autobiography clearly depicts the many struggles Maya and her family were faced with and got through.
  5. 5. Arguments Some of the social and racial issues Maya and her family faced were : • Maya and Bailey being sent away from their parents at an early age. • Being a black girl in the south already played as a factor on how society viewed Maya, but after being raped, Maya was looked down upon even more. • Continuous moving never allowed Maya and Bailey to make any friends other than each other.
  6. 6. Social Issue Description Following Angelou’s rape, she became antisocial for years. She wouldn’t say a word to anybody but her brother Bailey. This was because after her court case regarding the incident, her rapist, Mr. Freeman was murdered, and she felt that it was her words that killed him and she didn’t want to kill any innocent people so she stopped talking for 6 years.
  7. 7. Racial Issue Description Being an African American family in the south, Angelou and her family faced a lot of racial issues. They lived in a small segregated town of Stamps, Arkansas where everything was separate amongst whites and blacks. They had separate neighborhoods, phone booths, water fountains, restrooms, cemeteries and even different Bibles in which people swear upon in court.
  8. 8. Review In a recent review from The Guardian News, reviewer Anita Sethi, mentions that the autobiography “explores the struggle to become free from the shackles of racism…”. I completely agree with Sethi on this, Angelou not only grasps the readers with detailed experiences of her life, but she also is able to prove a point with it and teach the audience a moral. The autobiography depicts Angelou’s growth not only as a young girl, but as a woman and how she deals the issues of inequality and hate thrown at her.
  9. 9. Conclusion Maya ends up running away from her father, and this gives her a sense of independence and freedom. It allowed her to open up in the real world and experience different things, even if they weren’t all that great. I believe the point of Angelou sharing her life story with the world was to prove that no matter how hard life gets, the best is yet to come.
  10. 10. Works Cited • Gross, Robert A. "Newsweek's Original Review of Maya Angelou's 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings'" Newsweek. Newsweek, 28 May 2014. Web. 13 July 2014. • Joanne Megna-Wallace. The Greenwood Press ""Literature in Context"" SeriesWestport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1998. p[1]-13. COPYRIGHT 1998 Joanne Megna-Wallace • "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: Top Ten Quotes." Novelguide. Novelguide, n.d. Web. 13 July 2014. • Maya Angelou (1 of 5). Prod. Armstrong Williams. Perf. Armstrong Williams and Maya Angelou. YouTube. YouTube, 2 Sept. 2008. Web. 13 July 2014. • Sethi, Anita. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou – review.” Rev. of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. The Guardian 17 August 2013. Print

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