Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: A Review Essay

Submitted By Adjoa-Yeboah
Words: 1166
Pages: 5

Independent Study Speech
Prove That My Novel Is An Excellent Piece Of Literature That Should Remain On The High School Curriculum. Before I do present my speech, I just want each and everyone here to take one minute to think out of the box and just for a moment be in a shoe of a girl named Marguerite, who lived in Stamp, Arkansas in the early 1930s, learning what it was like to be a black girl in a world whose boundaries were set by whites. Trained in such a way that, she needed to be silent in order to survive in her Community. Lastly, learning the humiliation of being refused treatment from a white dentist, who would "rather stick his hand in a dog's mouth than in a nigger's". My question to each and everyone is: Would you be able to live in a community like this? Would you be able to silent in order to survive??
My fellow colleagues, my present teacher Ms Rai, I warmly greet you all. The main reason why I stand here today is to share with you why I Know Why Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou is an excellent piece of literature that should remain on high curriculum because it carries out, a strong message to readers especially young girls' journey into adulthood, also providing a lot of details of Maya's struggle to find acceptance as compared to most black people in today's world and lastly, the book provides a clear picture of how life was, right after slavery was made illegal.
To begin with, many teenagers today, in their journey to adulthood are faced with so many challenges that they eventually give up. Maya Angelou as Marguerite in the story, carries out a strong message to readers especially young girls' journey into adulthood. She opens up her autobiography, by recalling a painful childhood memory. In The Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in Stamp, Arkansas, she recalled reciting the poem entitled, I did not come here to stay, which invoked the reality of reappearance from the pettiness of life on this tormented earth to a sharpened life. Marguerite on the other hand, believes that, the poem also evokes another meaning. She was certain that her younger self had not come to Stamp, Arkansas to stay. She delivered a strong message even in the first chapter of her autobiography about how an individual needs to grow personally. She knew that, she wasn’t going to stay permanently in Stamp, Arkansas and would gradually move on to more positive environment. With hope comes a vision, Marguerite in her autobiography had full confident in herself that, she wouldn't remain at one place forever and therefore she persevered and hoped for a better day. Teenagers today, even though we are introduced to so many ways of overcoming challenges, approximately 60% percent of us lack the ability to see the brighter side of every situation. Reading this book, creates an image in anyone's mind about how painful Maya's challenges were, in comparison to the challenges faced by teenagers today. In today's world, we believe that, "Those who attain any marked degree of excellence in a chosen pursuit must work, and work hard for it, prince or peasant". Reading this book encourages young girls especially, to strive hard in achieving any goals in life.
Wonderful quoted by Maya Angelou "You may encounter so many struggles but you must defeat them" Maya Angelou provided a lot of details of struggle to find acceptance as compared to most black people in today's world. She moves around from different homes between the ages of three to sixteen: From St.Louis to Stamp, California to Stamp, Oakland to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to San Francisco. As she expressed in the poem she recalls reciting in the church, " I did not come here to stay" becomes her defense against the cold reality of her loneliness. Confined by the "triple fire" of racism, power and sexism, Maya is criticized at every turn of life that, it was difficult to put down her defense (I did not come here to stay), making her feel uncomfortable in staying one place and having