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Why is "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" a Classic?

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joanna-michelson | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 29, 2007 at 4:00 AM via web

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Why is "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" a Classic?

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a-b | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted January 29, 2007 at 4:04 AM (Answer #1)

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It's a classic because:

1. It's from a famous author, Maya Angelou
2. It was a ground breaking work of autobiography at the time it was published
3. It continues to be taught in schools all over the world
4. It had interesting and indelible characters
5. It's one of those books that once you read it, you'll never forget it.

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janeyb | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted January 29, 2007 at 4:14 AM (Answer #2)

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"I know why the caged bird sings" is a classic because it highlights not only the themes and problems of the time that it was written, but its themes remain vaild. Themes such as education (Marguerite is able to provide herself a better life because of it), prejudice and Tolerance (Marguerite fights the establishment, the caste system of the South) and coming of age (Angelou beautifully describes the painful steps Marguerite goes through as she ages)make a novel that is as valid and prevailing today, as it was when written in 1970. It is for that reason, that "i know why the caged bird sings" is a classic. It is also a classic because through this novel, Maya Angelou gave a voice to those voices which were rarely heard.

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wildwolfpup | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted March 13, 2007 at 12:44 PM (Answer #3)

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I believe this novel could become a great classic, should its message continue to be spread.

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revolution | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted August 14, 2009 at 8:51 PM (Answer #4)

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The book "I know Why the Caged Bird Sings" is a classic as he teaches us moral values and themes that are still applicable and valid in our daily life, from the period that he had written the book and it still is since now. The author, Angelou written this book, the main purpose is that she wanted to convey the message about the difficulties of mixing with different social races and the discrimination with each other, being a African American herself, this form of racialism still present and ravaging around the world still. She also reach out themes to younger audience, like relationships between the parents and children, frequent child abuses and the journey of searching one's path of success in these torrid times. It also tell the theme of "coming-of-age" as she detailedly depict and described honestly about her sexuality and her experience against rape and child abuse when she was very young. All these themes have a great impact on the readers, as all these problems have re-surfaced and are still present in the modern world, when you could read about child abuses, racial gang fights etc., so it is still applicable to our present situation. This book is really a engaging and power-packed book and it is rightly called a classic

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