Maya Angelou Values

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Maya Angelou Maya Angelou in her two books, “Letter To My Daughter” and “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings”, reveals her cultural attitudes and values in order to better society. Maya Angelou intends to motivate young readers and think in more abstract concepts. In "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" and “Letter To My Daughter”, Maya Angelou shows us a dark side of American history and how racism and discrimination can affect people, but she also shows us the power of the human spirit in our ability to overcome negativity and succeed in spite of great difficulties in life. It is all about hope and freedom from stereotypes. It is how a love of literature and inner belief in one self can overcome racism and hardships. In the prologue, Maya’s point…show more content…
In “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, a main value is the strength of women. In Chapter 34, Maya describes why black women have strength. “The Black female is assaulted in her tender years by all those common forces of nature the same time that she is caught in the tripartite crossfire of masculine prejudice, white illogical hate and Black lack of power. The fact that the adult American Negro female emerges a formidable character is often met with amazement, distaste, and even belligerence” (265). Maya calls the black women in her book “survivors”. These women have lived through horrific events, but it shows there heroism, strength, and courage. Maya had to grow up faster than most children around her. She lived through experiences that would happen normally during adulthood such as driving a car with her father in Mexico, living homeless, and becoming the first black conductor. The “common forces of nature” foreshadow the hardships she faced such as teenage pregnancy and growing up. These challenges face a lot of children, but it is different for black women. Maya Angelou throughout this book also had a love for literature, including William Shakespeare’s work. These books allowed her for an escape from hard reality and focus on what she loved. She received books for her birthday including a book by Edgar Allen…show more content…
“I gave birth to one child, a son, but I have thousands of daughters” (Angelou). Maya Angelou describes a philanthropist as being “taken from two Greek words philo-lover of; and anthro-mankind” (11). She goes on to describe how she believes she is charitable and kindness is the key. She knows she can give to the world by being kind and that is a beautiful way to live. Maya Angelou through her hard life gave birth as a teenager to her son, Guy. “The birth of my son caused me to develop enough courage to invent my life” (18). Instead of regretting and being upset about having a child so young, she sees it as a new opportunity of life and a way to learn to be a great mother just as her mother was to her. A devastating and difficult time in her life was when she was raped as a child. Maya calls attention to what she believes is the true nature of rape and it comes from a “sexual” stimulus, not just a hunger for dominance. Her personal point of view allows the reader to think about the horrific violence of rape and the toll it has taken on so many women, especially Maya. In an experience recalled during her love for Celia Cruz, a Spanish musician, it allowed Maya to reflect on race again. “All great artists draw from the same resource: the human heart, which tells us all that we are more alike than we are unalike” (80). The reader

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