Caged Bird Sings Thesis

Words: 1358
Pages: 6

In the novel I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, the author reflects on her own experiences as an African American female throughout her adult life in the 1930’s and 40’s.
Maya Angelou was born on April 4th, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri and had one brother, Bailey Johnson Jr. She was the younger sibling but was still the one who always took care of her older brother. At the age of four or five Angelou and her brother traveled regularly back and forth between her mother, Vivian Baxter Johnson in Stamps, Arkansas and her grandmother, Annie Henderson in St. Louis Missouri. As an African American female child in the 1930’s and 40’s Angelou struggled to find confidence and to be able to love herself like she should have. Due to her
…show more content…
When Maya Angelou wrote and published her novel I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings it was during the Great Depression. However, men and women were treated differently and it was unfair. They are still treated not equal to very day, much like being an African American with racism. In the 30’s woman would always be a stay at home. They were not allowed to have jobs,vote, own businesses, or even own property. If a man lost his job during the Great Depression he would think of himself as a failure, or maybe even something lower than that, but whenever they got a job or became the head of a job they were happy. Nothing like this happened to the woman. They did not celebrate for things they should have. Fundamentally, Maya Angelou thinks being a female in the 1930’s and 40’s was a struggle, but not only being a female but being an African American female …show more content…
Opal Moore believes that the reason Angelou wrote this novel was because she wanted to let people know she was a powerful African American female in the 30’s and 40’s, that is something rare you would see back then. Moore then says, this book is a backdrop of human weaknesses. Meaning this is a backdrop from Angelou’s life and how she wrote about all her weaknesses. (Moore 147). For example, Angelou was confused about her sexuality when she was 15 years old. She did not know if she liked men or woman, so she experienced sexual initmacy with someone she knew that was underaged when she was 17 and got pregnant. She wrote about that in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings because mostly that was one of the hardest parts of her life. Also Moore speaks about Angelou getting raped by her mother’s stay at home boyfriend. It was a traumatic time for Angelou during that stage, it was something that should not have happened. “A breaking and entering when even the senses are torn apart. The act of rape on eight-year-old body is a matter of the needle giving because the camel can’t. The child gives, because the body can, and the mind of the violator cannot” (Angelou 76). Angelou added that to her novel about her life because of the crime her mother’s boyfriend did. She is meaning to say she did not want to give him what he wanted but she could not stop him. She was only 8 years old and she knew nothing