Maya Angelou 's I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings Essay

851 Words Dec 3rd, 2015 4 Pages
To understand the purpose of life, it must live to its fullest potential. Before becoming an author, activist, and a performer, Maya Angelou overcame many obstacles in her life. Born as an African American in 1928, she was raised during an unyielding time of racial oppression. Many of her works talk about love and segregation, but, her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, is what she is truly known for. Having witnessed and experienced the injustice placed on colored people, Angelou developed an identity crisis, devaluing herself as a, “too-big Negro Girl” (Angelou 4); however, she refrained from fully believing that a life of conforming to a certain society’s standards is inescapable. While Angelou’s autobiography reveals a hard struggle of discovering herself in a society of strict etiquettes, it also teaches her readers that through the strength of determination, what seems hopeless, can be conquered.
Upon the divorce and separation of Angelou’s parents, she spent most of her childhood living in Stamps, Arkansas with her grandparents and older brother, Baily. During this time, blacks were free from being considered property, but, not from social restraints. To live in such a time of oppression, caused confusion in Angelou’s childhood years. With the way blacks were treated, she resented her life. In I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Angelou opens her memoir with her as a five to seven year old child at church, reciting “the words to an Easter rhyme that begins,…

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