What Is The Irony In I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

Not all who are free possess freedom, and not all who possess freedom are free. Through the use of irony, authors Maya Angelou and Alfred Uhry show us that real freedom is a state of mind which can only be obtained when one allows it for himself. There is no coincidence that it is the caged bird who sings, and not the free bird. In the poem “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou, the speaker goes back and forth between stanzas comparing the realities of a free bird to that of a caged bird. Seeing the bird who nonchalantly “dips his wings... in the orange sun rays,” in contrast with the other bird whose “wings are clipped” and “feet are tied,” we cannot help but pity the latter, for he is enchained within the confines of captivity. …show more content…
However, it later becomes clear that her lack of real freedom goes beyond her physical limitations; it roots from Daisy’s inability to accept the harsh realities of discrimination during this period (1948-1973), let alone the fact that she too, is a victim. In comparison to her driver, Hoke, a mid-aged African American man, Daisy’s tangible freedoms heavily surpasses his. Yet, it is Hoke who is more content with his life, and Hoke who is ironically more “free.” Evidently, this is due to his ability to face the injustices done unto him, and to accept himself regardless. In Page 26, he says to Miss Daisy, “colored cain’ use the toilet at no Standard Oil...You know dat.” Although this outrageous statement provokes anger in the reader, and perhaps in Miss Daisy herself, Hoke says it in a tone that does not imply any form of bitterness. In contrast, Daisy is one who is quick to dismiss anything she does not like to hear, as false altogether. In one particular scene, when Hoke reveals to Daisy that her temple has been bombed, she automatically goes into a state of denial, saying : “I don’t believe it. It’s a mistake.” This shows us that Daisy’s lack of genuine liberation is caused by her undying unwillingness to accept her standing in

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