Reflection for “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” Essay example

2249 Words Apr 28th, 2013 9 Pages
Reflection for “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”

Abstract This essay consists of three sections. The first section, a brief synopsis of the book “I know why caged bird sings” is presented. At the second part, three insights after reading the book are introduced. That is, metaphor of caged bird, power of literacy, and power of silence. At the last section, discipline-specific knowledge that relevant to the main character of book is stated.

Synopsis of the Text
This autobiography is Maya Angelou’s coming of age story, and follows Marguerite’s (called “My’ or “Maya” by her brother) life from the age of three to seventeen. In this story, Angelou as the storyteller, tells the audience about her experiences as an African
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Power of Literacy
Maya is scared about the power of words after the death of Mr. Freeman, and refuses to speak. After she goes back to Stamps, Maya met Mrs. Flower, who encourages her reading of books. Books become a refuge in her bewildering childhood. Maya finds characters of a book to make sense of her bewildering world. She even uses books as a way of coping with her rape. From the literacy, Maya gets comfort; literacy expands her thought and enables her to think independently without considering the unwritten rules of society at that time. Literacy also enhances Maya’s ability of thinking; it lets her have better understanding of herself, elaborates her thought, and makes her become a stronger person. In addition, literacy inspires her to think what true human dignity is. It is very lucky for Maya to find a way to coping, as McPherson says, “if there is one stable element in Angelou’s youth it is a dependence upon books.” (McPherson, 1990, pp. 215).
I wonder what the most dignified characteristic of a human being is. The answer I found from this book is not the color of skin, socioeconomic status, or power; it is the self-determined ability to not allows others to decide the value of themselves, because everyone is equally dignified.
Power of Silence
Maya’s grandmother is a quite successful African American woman in the African American community in Stamps. However, Momma and Momma’s

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