I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is an autobiographical novel by Maya Angelou that runs roughly from 1930 to 1970, published in 1969. It is a chronicle of her family history and tragedy as a specific portrait and integrated image of the live of black Americans in America of the 20th century. The book is first in the series of six volumes.
The story begins when Maya, then three years old, and his older brother were sent to her grandmother and continues till the moment when the author becomes a mother at the age of seventeen after being raped by her stepfather. The book tells how Maya being a victim of xenophobia, abuse of power, and suffering from an inferiority complex, is gradually transformed into a worthy, confident woman, able to confront racism.
It were friends of the writer – her editor Robert Loomis and James Baldwin – who asked Maya Angelou to write her autobiography. By the use of the fiction stylistic techniques, some critics have seen in this work more an autobiographical novel than a biography, when the majority of the critics saw an autobiography, in which Maya Angelou has changed and expanded codes. The story deals with topics specific to other biographies of black American during the years after the African-American civil rights movement: the motherhood of a black woman, a critique of racism, the importance of family, and the quest independence and dignity.
This book was written in the 70s, at the time autobiographies of women, especially black women, was a way of affirming the importance of women’s lives. Angelou’s book, although intended for a wide audience, also aimed to show the difficulties of being black and female in America. Angelou focuses on these issues so that they appeal to all your readers for understanding, and also speaks to a particular audience of the class it represents.
To write an interesting and argumentative essay on caged bird by Maya Angelou, is not an easy matter. You will have to view the issue from all possible angles in order to understand what was exactly the message Maya Angelou was trying to convey in her autobiographical novel. To able to do that, you will have to find and process a good deal of the data concerning the matter, thoroughly study and carefully analyze the result of your investigation.
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