I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: Movie and Book Essay

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: Movie and Book  

The novel, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings", by Maya Angelou is the first series of five autobiographical novels. This novel tells about her life in rural Stamps, Arkansas with her religious grandmother and St. Louis, Missouri, where her worldly and glamorous mother resides. At the age of three Maya and her four-year old brother, Bailey, are turned over to the care of their paternal grandmother in Stamps, Arkansas. Southern life in Stamps, Arkansas was filled with humiliation, violation, and displacement. These actions were exemplified for blacks by the fear of the Ku Klux Klan, racial separation of the town, and the many incidents in belittling blacks.

Maya knows that
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Although this book is nonfiction Angelou uses elements from both fiction and fantasy. For this reason, the novel "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"

could have been a selected choice for our class. It reflects the realization and fantasized events of how Angelou overcomes social obstacles and her struggle to be accepted. Carol Neubauer gives one example of Angelou’s use with fiction and fantasy in this novel. It involves a visit to a racist dentist in Stamps. The bigoted dentist refuses to treat Maya. As a child, she images that her grandmother grows to gigantic height and gains super human strength to retaliate against the dentist (24). Another example of Angelou’s realistic but fictional struggles is how she is betrayed by the white world’s view of beauty. She pretends that she is really white and a cruel fairy stepmother, who was jealous of her beauty, turned her into a "too-big Negro girl, with nappy black hair, broad feet, and a space between her teeth that would hold a number-two pencil" (Angelou 1-3). Even though Angelou knows she is truly black, she uses this fantasy as a defense mechanism in order to survive the oppression of the south. This source of social barrier can be compared and contrasted with another text we have studied. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, by Oliver Sacks shows some obstacles and struggles that Dr. P. faces. For example, after

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