How did Maya Angelou make an adventure out of working at the store in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings?

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Maya turns working at the store into a sort of adventure by making games out of her daily tasks and taking pleasure in the small things. For example, she takes pride in her eye for exact measurements when scooping dry goods (flour, mash, sugar, corn, etc.) for customers. She must...

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Maya turns working at the store into a sort of adventure by making games out of her daily tasks and taking pleasure in the small things. For example, she takes pride in her eye for exact measurements when scooping dry goods (flour, mash, sugar, corn, etc.) for customers. She must do so in the face of the "eagle-eyed" customers who watch to make sure they get every penny's worth.

When Maya is successful in the store, she rewards herself (as one might after an adventure) with chocolate kisses or the sweet pineapple rings that she and her brother, Bailey, love to savor. Having independence and responsibility at the store gives her satisfaction and makes her feel grown up. The store is also a busy center of social activity for the town, so some exciting new "adventure" is often popping up, whether in ladies' harmless gossip or more serious times, like when the sheriff comes in chapter 3 to warn the family of potential retaliation after a black man has “messed with” a white woman.

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In Chapter 3, Maya relates how she makes an adventure out of measuring silver ladles of 'flour, mash, meal, sugar or corn' to accurate perfection. She tells us how delighted she is to develop an eye for precise measurement.

Furthermore, she states that the eagle-eyed lady customers would always catch any discrepancies in her measurement. Either way, Maya makes a game out of this past-time; when she has succeeded in pleasing her customers, she rewards herself with sweets. However, when she fails, she denies herself some of her favorite treats such as the chocolate 'silver-wrapped Kisses' she loves so much or the canned pineapples she is obsessed with. Maya's love for the store stems from the purpose and sense of belonging the store gives her.

Much of the time during the years Maya and her brother, Bailey, live with their grandmother is spent at the store. The store is the hub for communal activity, social interaction, and business. After the day's work is done, the store also becomes a familiar place where the family gathers to cook and to share their evening meal.

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