I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

July 25, 2012
When I first started to read this novel I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, the title is extremely unique and is what, in a way, pulled me towards the book. I began reading the introduction with extreme curiosity and instantly fell in love with the author and her intriguing and complex writing techniques.

This is the partially tragic and partially heartwarming story of Maya Angelou’s life stretching from early childhood to young adulthood. The story describes harsh situations through a child’s perspective and provides the reader with an idea of what it was like to grow up in the South surrounded by extreme racism and segregation.

Growing up Angelou lacked a stable home environment, being continuously moved throughout households between her mother, father, and grandmother, along with her brother Bailey. After moving into her mothers house for the first time, eight year old Angelou becomes emotionally devastated when she is raped. She shuts herself off from the world, along with everyone in it with the exception of her beloved brother. It takes several years, and the kindness of a loving school teacher to pull Angelou back into the world and help her open herself back up to life and those around her.

When reading this novel, it is important to not overlook the overall message and beauty of the story amidst the harsh ugliness of events that the author describes.

It was an entirely different experience reading a novel that shows emotions, experiences,
and different points of views through the eyes of an eight year old girl. I was drawn into the story more and more as each chapter went on because of how it continuously altered as the main character grew older, changed, and matured.

So many concepts are addressed by the author that it is easy to understand and learn the message the author is portraying behind each topic. Each concept is individually described in such immaculate detail, making the reader feel as if they’re the person experiencing what in reality the characters were.

I highly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys learning through reading. I guarantee the traumatic, loving, and shocking moments that occur in this novel will keep you constantly craving more, and hopefully you will love the beauty of this book as much as I did.





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