Maya Angelou Essay example
In 1970, a child with skinny legs and muddy skin was introduced into African American literature. Born 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 …show more content…
One of the main themes of this book is race and appearance; Maya already establishes that she wanted to be a movie-star looking white girl as a child, and tried to deny her real appearance. Connected with the idea of race is beauty, as Maya describes images of blond hair and blue eyes as the paragon of beauty, and says her appearance is merely a "black ugly dream" that she will wake out of.
Maya was an imaginative child, as she envisions her "head [bursting] like a dropped watermelon" from trying to hold her bladder. Angelou shows a talent for using images to explain and clarify feelings, and employing her descriptive powers to make even mundane incidents very vivid. All of her stories are centered around the themes of family, self-discovery, and motherhood, though in terms of writing style and plot each of them is different. Maya's mother Vivian Baxter and her son Guy, born at the end of this book, are also important figures throughout