Essay on Maya Angelou

2011 Words 9 Pages
CRAM Exclusive
Essay Sample
The book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is the 1969 autobiography about the early years of writer and poet Maya Angelou. It is the first of six volumes about Maya’s life and the hardships she faced growing up and even in adulthood. This book covers the years from the early 1930's, up until about 1970. Out of the six, it is probably the most popular and critically acclaimed volume, it is a coming-of-age story that illustrates how strength of personality and a love of literature can help overcome

middle of document…

Her autobiographies, beginning with Caged Bird, contain a series of lessons about resisting domination. The series she describes leads her, as the protagonist, from helpless anger and hatred to forms of slight struggle, and finally to outright and active disapproval.

For the first five years of her life, Maya thinks of herself as an orphan and finds comfort in the thought that her mother was dead. Her feelings for and relationship with her own mother, whom she blames for leaving her, express themselves in doubt and repressed violent behavior. For example, she and her brother destroy the first Christmas gifts that they received from their mother. These strong feelings are not dealt with until the end of the book, when she becomes a mother herself, and her mother finally becomes the encouraging presence for which she has wanted all this time. The two main motherly influences on her life change as well; Vivian plays a more active role, while Momma fades into the background as Maya, by becoming a mother herself, moves from childhood to adulthood. An event in the book that solidifies Maya's identity is her trip to Mexico with her father, when she has to drive a car for the first time. Contrasted with her experience in Stamps, she is finally in control of her destiny. This experience is very important to her growth, as is the incident that directly follows it, her short period of homelessness after arguing
CRAM Exclusive

Related Documents

  • Maya Angelou Essay example

    marguerite Johnson she became known as Maya Angelou (Lupton 51). Her critically acclaimed works have changed the way of the African American autobiography is written. Angelou well known as an entertainer was urged by James Baldwin and by the cartoonist Jules fifer and his wife Judy to try her hand at writing an autobiography. After several refuels she agreed the results was a unique series of autobiographical narratives. I know why the caged bird sings is the first of Maya Angelous's five autobiographies

    Words: 969 - Pages: 4
  • Essay about Maya Angelou

    Maya Angelou’s tumultuous childhood in the South and the struggles that come with being black are the basis for her autobiographies such as I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Through her rich, insightful literature she is able to record the black experience and ultimately the black struggle. She “[is] always talking about the human condition – about what we can endure, dream fail at and still survive.”(Matzu 23) Angelou’s early life was full of hardships; making her strong and ready to fight for

    Words: 890 - Pages: 4
  • Maya Angelou Essay

    Maya Angelou A poet, an author, a play-write, an actress, a mother, a civil-rights activists, historian and most important a survivor. Perhaps Maya Angelou, award winning author of many books, is one of the most influential African Americans in American history. I believe that she rates at the top of the list of American authors, with Hemingway, Hawthorne, and Voight. I believe through my research and reading of Maya Angelou that she should be among the members of The American Authors Hall of

    Words: 1352 - Pages: 6
  • Maya Angelou Essay

    Maya Angelou Name: Institution: Instructor: Date: Table of Contents Table of Contents 2 Introduction 3 Reasons for Choosing Maya Angelou 3 Early Life 4 Educational Life 5 Angelou’s Influence in her Early Career 5 Angelou’s Influence in Africa 6 Angelou’s Career Peak 7 Later Career 7 Qualities That Make Angelou A Great Leader 8 Analysis of Angelou’s Leadership Style 9 Application of Angelou’s Leadership Style to Hospitality Industry 9 Leadership Lesson on

    Words: 3059 - Pages: 13
  • Essay on maya Angelou Graduation

    09/19/2014 Maya Angelou - Graduation Graduation is an important transition time in every person’s life. It is about moving on to something better and more important and to use your knowledge to achieve life goals. This is what the children attending the grammar school believed as well, including Maya Angelou. Given from her point of view, the story Graduation has ethos because as an African American girl, she shared the same thoughts and feelings as everyone standing on the stage or in

    Words: 1273 - Pages: 6
  • Gender Issues in A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry and Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou

    In A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry and “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou, both Hansberry and Angelou use gender to show two different perspectives women brought forth in the 1920s through the 1950s. Hansberry displays in Ruth, a woman of good faith and loyalty to her family, and Beneatha represents Maya Angelou’s phenomenal woman, a woman of poise, class, and dreams. Hansberry and Angelou use characterization, dialogue, archetype, and juxtaposition to compare and contrast a woman’s changing

    Words: 1115 - Pages: 5
  • Comparing Life Doesn't Frighten Me and Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

    Comparing Life Doesn't Frighten Me and Still I Rise by Maya Angelou This essay will compare and contrast 'life doesn't frighten' me by Maya Angelou and 'still I rise' by Maya Angelo the theme of fear and pride will be explored in this essay. The theme of fear and pride is discussed in this essay because in one of the poems she is scared of little things that scare and they is nothing to be scared of like the dark, but in the other poem pride is the theme because she is proud

    Words: 655 - Pages: 3
  • Essay about Maya Angelou

    Maya Angelou "You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness. But still, like air, I'll rise." Have you ever been so influenced by such a small amount of powerful words? This brilliant quote extracted from Maya Angelou's own poem, "Still I Rise", basically brings out the spirit and nature of each of her publications. Maya Angelou's works of poetry are seen as inspiration for those who have been discriminated for their public appearances. As

    Words: 1000 - Pages: 5
  • Maya Angelou Essay

    Dascia Turner Professor Kimberly Balding English 1010: Composition One 20 September 2010 Truly Inspirational I find Dr. Maya Angelou to be a very interesting woman. She has lived a very productive life. She rose up in the face of adversary and succeeded in making a life for herself. Her numerous accomplishments testify to this fact. She did not come from a promising background, but she defied all the odds. During her childhood, she absorbed the faith and values of a traditional African American

    Words: 1004 - Pages: 4
  • Maya Angelou 5 Essay

    Maya Angelou is a phenomenal woman. She was born into a devastating decade, that suffered numerous tragedies. Not only had society shaped her as a woman, she has also shaped our society and influenced many lives. She is still living today, yet I believe her legend will never die. Furthermore I will share with you what motivated her and some of her gratifying experiences. How she was effected by society, and what she did about it. Also how the time period she was born into made her the extraordinary

    Words: 1234 - Pages: 5