Maya Angelou's I Know Why The Caged Bird

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Maya the Caged Bird “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.” -Maya Angelou. Maya Angelou wrote of this untold story in her memoir I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. Maya is also the author of the poem Caged Bird that tells of a bird trapped in a cage behind “bars of rage” who has to look out and see the world it cannot be a part of. The bird tries to break free and join the free bird but when the bird sees it cannot escape, all it can do is “sing for freedom”. In her memoir, Maya is the caged bird she writes about in her poem. Maya as a child is a caged bird because she has to look at white society through “bars of rage” and she must “sing for freedom” which is shown through how the powhitetrash girls treat Momma…show more content…
Maya decides one day she wants to get a job to cure her need of something to do. After debating for a while the kind of jobs she could get, she decides on being a streetcar driver. She tells Mother about is and Mother replies with, “[T]hey don’t accept colored people on the streetcars” (Angelou 265). After hearing this, Maya still goes to the offices to try to get the job even though there is a very high probability she will not get the job because she is black. She fights for three weeks going back to the offices nearly every day and searching for Negro organizations to help her out. Their reason for refusing to help is that they did not understand why she wanted the job so much when there are plenty of higher paying jobs she could get. Throughout the three weeks, she goes through the cycle of going to the office, waiting along with others for an interview and returning home empty-handed. However, she remains inexorable about getting the job and says, “I WOULD HAVE THE JOB. I WOULD BE A CONDUCTORETTE AND SLING A FULL OF MONEY CHANGER FROM MY BELT. I WOULD” (Angelou 268). The situation shows that she is a caged bird because she has to sing for the freedom to be a conductorette despite the fact that she is black. The cage she has been placed in is a cage of prejudice because she is a black woman trying to get a job help by white people. The way she goes about singing is by going to the offices everyday trying to get the job. She remains persistent as she continues to sing for the freedom of being a streetcar driver until she is finally given the job. fighting to have the job of a streetcar driver shows she is like a caged bird because she must sing for the freedom to have that

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