At the beginning of I Know Why the Caged BirdSings, Maya is a precocious young girl suffering not justfrom the typical traumas connected via being babsence and also femalein America, however also from the trauma of displacement. Smart andimagiaboriginal, Maya neverthemuch less feels that human being judge her unfairlydue to her ungainly appearance. Feeling misconstrued, she fantasizesthat she is a blond-haired, blue-eyed girl trapped in a “babsence uglydream” and also will shortly wake up and expose her true self. Maya describesher social and familial displacement as “uncrucial insults” onpeak of the basic difficulties connected through growing up as ababsence girl in the segregated Amerideserve to South. The South presentsMaya via 3 tremendous impediments: white prejudice, black powerlessness, andfemale subjugation.

In enhancement to these broad societal obstacles, Maya endures manypersonal traumas in her lifetime as well. Her parents abandon herand also Bailey when Maya is 3, and her sense of abandonment andher require for physical affection bring about additionally battles. Five yearslater on, she should leave the only residence she has actually known and also live in anunwell-known city where she seeks comfort in Mr. Freeman, who molestsand rapes her. At age ten, having actually currently saw callous whitesmistreating the human being she loves most, such as Momma, Maya beginsto endure racism directly. Mrs. Cullinan tries to rename and also demeanher, and also the racist, white dentist Dr. Lincoln states he would certainly ratherstick his hand in a dog’s mouth than treat Maya’s trouble. In SanFrancisco, Maya’s confusion around sexuality becomes compounded whenshe becomes pregnant at age sixteenager.

Angelou’s autobiography documents her victories and also successes aswell. With Bailey’s and also Momma’s unwavering love and later on encouragementfrom Vivian, Daddy Clidell, and also numerous duty models and friends,Maya gains the strength to get over difficulties and also realize hercomplete potential. She learns to face racism actively and eventuallysecures a position as the first black conductor aboard a San Franciscostreetcar, which is probably her crowning accomplishment in the book.She likewise learns to challenge her own failings with dignity and also honor,never before forgetting her guilt around lying in court and, in the LosAngeles junkyard, realizing the should think not just in termsof black and also white, however in terms of mankind in all its diversity.She shows the power of forgiveness as she tries to find positive qualitiesin Big Bailey and to present compassion toward Dolores. She remainsinsecure, particularly around her sexuality and also appearance, however eventuallyshe learns to trust her own abilities, as we watch in the last scene,when she realizes that she will be able to care for her newbornchild.




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