I Know why the caged bird sings By: Maya Angelou
Basic Info. • Setting-1930s-1950s; Arkansas, Missouri, California • Publish Date-1969 • Genre-Autobiography
Characters • Marguerite Ann Johnson (Maya Angelou)-In the beginning she is a little girl confused and hurt about where she is in her life (metaphorically); She is then sexually abused, by someone who was supposed to give her “comfort,” and becomes pregnant at age 16; As she becomes older, though, she learns to rise above all the difficulties and problems she’s had • Bailey Johnson Jr.-He is the most important person to Maya and he comforts her as they move around and enter new places; At an older age, though, Bailey doesn’t “know” himself and tries to act like different people just to get his mother to like him
Plot • Maya is living in California, but by the age of three, her parents split up and send her and her brother to Arkansas to live with her grandmother. As she grows up there, it becomes clear to her that she doesn’t belong and that racism is among her. Through the book, she is trying to overcome challenges in her life and dealing with the fact that she might never be welcomed into any group of people. However, she has some people around her to give her comfort, and as she gets older, she gets the courage and confidence to go through anything that comes at, head on.
Favorite Aspect • One of my favorite characters in the book is Maya’s father, Bailey Johnson. Even though he one of the worst characters in the book, it is because he is so bad that I learned that you can act like you know what’s going on, but in reality, you have no idea. This is what Bailey Johnson is an example of; he can try to fit in with the crowd, but in the end he’s nothing like them.
Recommendation • I would recommend this book to anybody who feels out of place just because they are different or because they like something different than what is “normal”