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What is the purpose, tone, meaning and message of "I Know Why the Caged Bird...

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lesmoore629 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 21, 2008 at 10:27 AM via web

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What is the purpose, tone, meaning and message of "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings?"

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msray | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted August 11, 2008 at 7:26 AM (Answer #1)

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I would propose that the entire purpose and meaning of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings can be summed up in one word: Resilience. The life of Maya Angelou makes a stunning progression from darkness to light, and from silence to speech. She finds out what she is truly made of through trials and is refined into a person of intense character and stamina. The tone moves from darker and repressed (in the beginning) to expressive and strong in the final chapters (and in her adulthood). The message the reader can take from this book is: The pain from trials and growth into adulthood can be used for our good, and resilience shapes amazing character in people that are willing to persist as survivors.

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