The relationship between Maya and her brother, Bailey, is incredibly complex from its beginnings. The two of them are sent to live with their paternal grandmother, nicknamed Momma, in a southern town brimming with racism. It is this complicated environment as well as the aftermath of their parents' divorce that initially causes the pair of siblings to become so closely bonded, which is evident in the way that Maya speaks about her brother.
Though Maya feels that she is ungainly and unattractive, she feels that it is a blessing to have a brother who, in her words, is "small, graceful, and smooth." It is also important to note that Maya's birth name is in fact Marguerite, and it is her brother who gave her the nickname Maya—the result of him calling her "Mya Sister."
Later in the novel, Maya is raped, and in the time following this assault she withdraws from everybody but her brother. This is yet another example of the siblings' closeness, and it could even be said that the two grow even...
(The entire section contains 2 answers and 559 words.)