Maya Angelou Influences

Superior Essays
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the autobiography of Maya Angelou, is filled with many experiences that shape and mold Maya Angelou into the literary powerhouse known today. The fact that Maya Angelou fearlessly wrote an autobiography she shows the audience that she has confidence in herself and that she likes to defeat social norms because autobiographies are known for being dreadfully boring. The autobiography also includes large uses of humor and the examples of human influences, for the better. The influence of Maya Angelou’s Grandmother helps Maya become a well-rounded and fully knowledgeable person. Angelou describes her life in a very relatable way by adding humor in everyday things like going to church.
Usually during in I Know
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Annie Henderson Momma, Maya Angelou’s grandmother is semi-well-to-do for an African American family at that time, she owned a local general store in the middle of the “stamps” district. Momma was a very religious woman, in the beginning of everyday she would pray and at the time she went to bed she would thank God for the day. This strong moral action really rubs off on Maya’s morals as well. She teaches Maya and Bailey, Maya’s brother, how to work and she teaches them the importance of education, cleanliness, and manners, though she was not expressing her undying love for her grandchildren constantly. She shows her love by teaching Maya and Bailey that will be important later in life. Momma obviously loves her grandchildren but she knows better than to dote over them and let them figure things out for themselves. Maya says in the preface,“If growing up is painful for the southern black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat. It is an unnecessary insults.”( C ) Maya feels ostracized when she was sent away to live with her grandmother. Her separatio leaves her feeling rootless for most of her childhood. Angelou’s autobiography relates her experience of growing up as a black girl in the segregated American South to having a razor at your throat. Maya knows that she’s different from all the younger children, if someone tries shame her for what she is, “It is an unnecessary

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