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Maya Angelou - I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings.

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Introduction

Maya Angelou - I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings In Maya Angelou autobiography 'I know why the caged bird sings' many themes and issues are looked at. This autobiography shows the difficulty of a black woman growing up surrounded by discrimination and poverty, but also shows her determination, joy and hope. Maya Angelou describes her relationship with many character, this in it self is a theme of her writing, the way she sees people in her own light. Some characters that may be seen to be good people are changed by Maya's opinion. A good example of this is the contrast between Maya's mother and Maya's father's girlfriend. If both these characters were described, the father's girlfriend maybe considers the better person. This is not the case after reading this book, as Maya has a way of making the reader see these characters as she sees them. After the separation of Maya Angelou's parents she and her brother Bailey were sent away to live with her grandmother when Maya was only three. ...read more.

Middle

This can be seen from the choice of lexis, Maya uses to describe her mother. Maya always used nice words such as 'beautiful', 'warm', 'glorious'. Maya is also enthusiastic when talking about her mother. At one point Maya goes to stay with her father and his girlfriend. Maya believed that being her mother was so beautiful, any woman her father was with after her mother would have been just as beautiful if not more. This was the start of Maya's disappointment when meeting her stepmother. Maya disliked Dolores (her stepmother); you could tell this from the contrast in tones, from the happy tone when see talks about her mother to the dull and spiteful tone used when describing Dolores. 'If Dolores had been a little less aloof, a little more earthy...- She was mean and petty and full of pretense.'(Maya Angelou, 1984, pages 222 and 223) Dolores theoretically was a good, honest person. She was a good, hardworking wife; she took Maya into her home and treated her well. ...read more.

Conclusion

He refused to help a child in pain, even though Maya's grandmother stopped him losing his business by lending him money. When speaking to Maya's grandmother, Dr Lincoln was very abrupt and rude to her. He did not even acknowledge Maya, or the fact her face was swollen and she was in pain. 'I'd rather stick my hand in a dog's mouth than in a nigger's'(Maya Angelou, 1984, P184) This was the harsh phase that Dr Lincoln used. This also shows discrimination and racism, another major theme in Maya Angelou's autobiography. After Dr Lincoln refuses to help, Maya's grandmother follows him in his office. When she later describes what happened she says that Dr Lincoln and the nurse were as 'thick as thieves'. This is a simile used to accentuate Dr Lincoln characteristics. From the way Maya Angelou has written her autobiography 'I know why the caged bird sings' she has managed to successfully express peoples true characters. People that may be considered to have a good character such as Dr Lincoln have been shown for who they really are. This has been done by the choice of lexis and the tones that she has used to create different atmospheres when describing certain characters. ...read more.

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