Questions and Answers for I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Discuss the significance of the title "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" in the context of the entire poem.

In Maya Angelou's famous poem "Caged Bird," she contrasts the life of a free, independent bird with that of an oppressed and manacled caged bird. The title corresponds to the life of the imprisoned...

Latest answer posted May 3, 2018 1:36 pm UTC

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

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

I would say that the purpose of this great autobiography is two-fold. Firstly, it allows Marguerite Johnson, later known as Maya Angelou, to make sense of the breathtaking series of events which...

Latest answer posted April 19, 2020 2:09 pm UTC

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

In the poem "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" what is the figurative language in the first two stanzas?

Figurative language refers to the techniques a writer uses to enhance his or her writing and to create images so that the reader can enjoy the text and understand his or her purpose. This can be...

Latest answer posted January 31, 2017 8:22 am UTC

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Why does Marguerite admire Mrs. Flowers in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings?

Marguerite admires Mrs. Flowers for many reasons. Most importantly, Mrs. Flowers is able to throw Marguerite what the author refers to as "my life line." In addition, Marguerite admires the way...

Latest answer posted July 24, 2017 3:56 pm UTC

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

What is the implied meaning of "his bars of rage" in the poem "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou?

In the poem "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou, Angelou contrasts the caged bird with the free bird. In doing this, she emphasizes the plight of the bird in the cage. The caged bird...

Latest answer posted January 28, 2018 2:38 pm UTC

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

In "Still I Rise," what does "out of the huts of history's shame" (line 32) mean?

In order to determine the meaning of this line, we must first look at the following line for more information. Out of the huts of history’s shame I rise Up from a past that’s rooted in pain I...

Latest answer posted January 27, 2016 10:01 pm UTC

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

How does Mrs. Flowers’s lesson change the way Marguerite feels about books and words in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings?

Mrs. Flowers is an important part of young Marguerite’s life. This is in large part because she teaches Marguerite firstly to love and respect books and secondly to understand the significance of...

Latest answer posted June 19, 2019 11:24 am UTC

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

In what way does Maya Angelou describe “The Store”? Find an example of figurative language that helps to explain how...

In the book, Marguerite uses a metaphor to explain how she feels about her grandmother's store. She likens the store to "an unopened present from a stranger" when it stands "alone and empty in the...

Latest answer posted June 30, 2016 5:35 pm UTC

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

What is the specific rhyme scheme for Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"?

The rhyme scheme in this poem is loose and somewhat erratic. In the first stanza, for example, there are no full end rhymes—although there is some assonance which creates a pattern of half-rhymes....

Latest answer posted May 13, 2019 6:30 pm UTC

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

In I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, what problem does Marguerite have in the story that Mrs. Flowers talks to her...

Well, the root problem is the abuse that Marguerite suffered when she was living with her mother at the hands of her step-father. As Chapter 14 makes clear, the impact that this horrendous incident...

Latest answer posted August 21, 2011 8:25 pm UTC

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

What does Mrs. Flowers tell Marguerite in the first part of her "lessons of living"?

Mrs. Flowers introduces Marguerite to a number of new ideas during their first meeting. On the walk over to her house, Mrs. Flowers tells Marguerite first that Language is man's way of...

Latest answer posted December 22, 2018 1:48 pm UTC

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Why does Mrs. Flowers tell Marguerite to be "understanding of illiteracy"?

Mrs. Flowers is a dominant figure during a difficult period in Marguerite's life. The above quote references one of the life lessons that Mrs. Flowers teaches Marguerite. The latter basically...

Latest answer posted August 14, 2018 5:47 pm UTC

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Marguerite says that Mrs. Flowers' skin looked like it would peel like a plum. What does she mean?

In Maya Angelou's autobiographical book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Mrs. Flowers, a literary African-American woman in Stamps, Arkansas, becomes Maya's mentor and the first person who...

Latest answer posted January 22, 2016 12:16 pm UTC

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

In I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, how does Marguerite's relationship with her mother compare to her...

Marguerite, or "Maya," has a complicated relationship with her grandmother, who she refers to as "Momma." As a child, she often resents the fact that her grandmother is so strict and religious. It...

Latest answer posted August 7, 2016 10:56 am UTC

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Why does Maya Angelou's book, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings", end where and when it does?

Maya Angelou's autobiographical book ends with the birth of her son because it reinforces the main theme of the novel, the maturation of the main character Marguerite. By keeping the pregnancy a...

Latest answer posted April 13, 2009 10:49 am UTC

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Give one example of hyperbole from the story.

A hyperbole is a literary device that over-exaggerates a particular detail or fact; this over-emphasis highlights the seriousness of a situation from a character's point of view. Take Marguerite's...

Latest answer posted July 1, 2016 5:49 pm UTC

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Who is the father of Maya Angelou's son?

In chapter 35 of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou describes the father of her son very briefly and does not even give his name. He was one of "two handsome brothers...easily the most...

Latest answer posted October 13, 2020 12:36 pm UTC

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

How does Maya's relationship with Bailey change over the course of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings?

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...

Latest answer posted January 14, 2019 5:26 pm UTC

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Why would Christmas presents provoke tears from Bailey and Maya?

As children living in Stamps, Arkansas with their grandmother, Maya and Bailey cried during Christmas after receiving gifts from their estranged parents. Maya recalls receiving a photograph from...

Latest answer posted May 14, 2018 1:50 pm UTC

1 educator answer

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

What are some metaphors in the book, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"?

A metaphor is a direct comparison of two things by saying that object 1 is or was object 2. For instance, "my love is a rose." I'll identify a few metaphors in the novel to help you get...

Latest answer posted April 8, 2008 2:08 am UTC

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Who or what is Maya's first love in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings?

Maya identifies her first love as William Shakespeare and his written works. As a girl, she reads every single book in the small library in Stamps, Arkansas. In chapter 2, she explains why the...

Latest answer posted March 28, 2019 3:22 pm UTC

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Why did Uncle Willie hide in the vegetable bin? What made him hide in it?

In the middle of the night "the used-to-be sheriff" comes up to the store to warn Momma, whom he calls Annie, "to lay low" because "a crazy" black man "messed...

Latest answer posted December 11, 2007 8:08 pm UTC

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

What does Angelou admire about Mrs. Flowers?

After a traumatic experience in St. Louis that scars Maya and results in an unexpected move back to Stamps, her newfound relationship with Mrs. Flowers offers a road to healing and growth. Maya is...

Latest answer posted October 23, 2018 2:29 am UTC

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

How does Marguerite feel about Uncle Willie in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings?

William Johnson, Uncle Willie, is mostly described in chapter 2 of Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. He is characterized by his disability; at just three years old, a baby sitter...

Latest answer posted July 10, 2019 12:47 pm UTC

1 educator answer

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Why is language important to Mrs. Flowers in the excerpt “Mrs. Flowers” from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya...

A shy and inhibited girl, Marguerite "sopped" around her environment until one day when Mrs. Flowers throws her "a lifeline" and asks specifically for Marguerite to carry her purchases home with...

Latest answer posted February 26, 2015 10:23 pm UTC

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

What was the effect of the black fighter, Joe Louis' victory over his white opponent in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings?

Angelou is able to illuminate the stakes as being high for African- Americans when Joe Louis was about to fight for the heavyweight championship against Primo Carnera. It was clear that African-...

Latest answer posted March 30, 2014 11:29 pm UTC

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

What are some examples of figurative language in the book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings?

Whitefolks couldn't be people because their feet were too small, their skin too white and see-throughy, and they didn't walk on the balls of their feet the way people did—they walked on their...

Latest answer posted April 24, 2019 3:41 pm UTC

3 educator answers

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

What is the author's theory about peoples' belief in divine intervention in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings?

There is one section of the novel where Momma is talking to one of her customers that comes into the store. Momma is a woman of faith, and her conversations often end with phrases such as “Bless...

Latest answer posted July 1, 2010 9:54 pm UTC

1 educator answer

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Why does young Marguerite make the choice to speak to Ms. Flowers?

Young Marguerite makes the choice to speak to Mrs. Flowers because she senses that the older woman is different from the other adults in her life. Mrs. Flowers never makes Marguerite feel like...

Latest answer posted October 18, 2016 9:07 pm UTC

1 educator answer

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

What does Marguerite do to the "powhitetrash" children that come near her in the store in Angelou's I Know...

Because they were instructed to do so by their Momma, Bailey and Marguerite for the most part stood by quietly when the ill-behaved "powhitetrash" children came into the store. If one of...

Latest answer posted February 6, 2008 6:47 am UTC

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Why did Maya lie on the witness stand?

Maya lies on the witness stand because of events that led up to her rape by Mr. Freeman. Mr. Freeman had molested her multiple times leading up to her rape (Chapter 11). When asked by the...

Latest answer posted November 10, 2017 12:41 am UTC

1 educator answer

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

What individuals serve as positive role models for Maya in "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"?

Maya Angelou gives an account of her formative years in I Know Why The Caged Birds Sing. It is through this account that we establish how the women in her life mold her into the person she becomes....

Latest answer posted January 15, 2018 3:27 am UTC

3 educator answers

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

How might one best describe Mrs. Viola Cullinan, the white woman in whose service Margaret (Maya Angelou, author of I...

During Maya's time working for Mrs. Cullinan, she was taught the antiquated system of keeping house in the pre-war South. While she teaches Maya the proper way to keep a house, she is trying to...

Latest answer posted May 1, 2019 1:03 am UTC

2 educator answers

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Does the concept of "hope" have meaning behind Maya Angelou's choosing of the title I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings?

Knowing what I know about Angelou, I believe that the title of this novel has great significance, and that hope is an integral part both of the title and the entire narrative. On her website,...

Latest answer posted June 6, 2012 5:21 pm UTC

1 educator answer

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

In what style is the book "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" written?

This book is written in the style of an autobiography. It is in the first person point of view and tells the story of her life in chronological order. However, ever the poet, Angelou uses many...

Latest answer posted May 21, 2008 10:01 am UTC

2 educator answers

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

What is the dialect in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings?

The best description would probably be African American Vernacular English, which is closely related to Southern American English and Creole dialects. It has been recognized as an official English...

Latest answer posted December 21, 2009 2:41 pm UTC

1 educator answer

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

In I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, why has Mrs. Flowers remained for Angelou "the measure of what a human being...

Maya finds Ms. Flowers remarkable because she posseses a sense of self and self-confidence that is rare among the black women Maya has known. She is elegant and assured, kind and intelligent,...

Latest answer posted September 13, 2007 12:19 pm UTC

1 educator answer

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

What does Marguerite compare Mrs. Flowers to?

Marguerite compares Mrs. Flowers to the women of leisure found in English novels. In Chapter 15, Marguerite tells us that Mrs. Flowers reminded her of women "who walked the moors with their loyal...

Latest answer posted June 30, 2016 5:05 pm UTC

1 educator answer

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

How does the children's lifestyle in St. Louis differ from the one they were accustomed to in Stamps in the book I...

In Stamps, Maya and Bailey have the advantage of a close and nurturing community to help in their growing up. As Maya describes in the first chapter of the book, once the people of Stamps see that...

Latest answer posted February 19, 2010 2:17 am UTC

1 educator answer

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Reflect on the violation of women’s rights as witnessed in the poems “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya...

Both Angelou and Naidu were activists and poets. The poets used “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and “The Bangle Sellers” to share the expectations and hardships women faced in their cultures....

Latest answer posted June 3, 2020 8:32 pm UTC

1 educator answer

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Why were Bailey and Maya sent from Stamps to LA?

Maya and her brother Bailey are raised in Stamps, Arkansas by their grandmother, whom they call "Momma," after their parents abandon them. Momma runs a general store in town, whose revenue she uses...

Latest answer posted November 3, 2018 12:12 am UTC

1 educator answer

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

What effect does the author's use of direct quotation ("champion of the world" in chapter 19) have on her narrative...

Maya Angelou quotes the radio announcer in order to take readers back to the significant moment in Maya's life and history when African American boxer Joe Louis defeated Max Schmeling and remained...

Latest answer posted June 13, 2019 5:33 am UTC

2 educator answers

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

How old was Maya when the situation with the "powhitetrash" girls occurred in "I Know Why the Caged...

Marguerite, Maya's character in the book, says she was around ten years old at the time the incident occurred.In Chapter 5, Marguerite describes the incident when the "powhitetrash" girls...

Latest answer posted March 31, 2008 2:39 pm UTC

1 educator answer

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, why does Mrs. Flowers want to help Maya?

The section of the novel that you want to look at is Chapter Fifteen, which introduces Mrs. Flowers to us and also narrates the first visit that Maya paid to Mrs. Flowers, and the impact it had...

Latest answer posted August 11, 2011 8:10 pm UTC

1 educator answer

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Why was Marguerite sent to work at Mrs. Cullinan's house in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings?

Marguerite was sent to work at Mrs. Cullinan's house to learn sewing and culinary skills. It took Marguerite a week to distinguish between the bread, salad, and dessert plates. She also had to...

Latest answer posted December 26, 2018 9:30 pm UTC

2 educator answers

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Where can I find 2 quotations using similes and 2 metaphors in chapters 1 to 13?

One of the prominent metaphors in Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" is Maya's recollection of her personal history from "the perch of age." (See pg 5, Ch 4). This metaphor lets us know...

Latest answer posted April 18, 2007 12:14 pm UTC

1 educator answer

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Maya Angelou begins I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings with a moment of public humiliation in the church. Why did she...

Maya Angelou published her memoir as a successful adult looking back at a difficult childhood. She begins these recollections with a single event that encapsulates the challenges she faced. While...

Latest answer posted March 12, 2020 1:44 am UTC

4 educator answers

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

In I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, why does Mrs. Flowers encourage Marguerite to listen to "mother wit"?...

Mrs. Flowers encourages Marguerite to listen to "mother wit" because she recognizes the wisdom and truth in folklore/country sayings, tales, phrases, and idioms. Thus, the answer to this question...

Latest answer posted March 11, 2019 9:25 pm UTC

2 educator answers

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

What adversity did Maya Angelou and Bailey faced in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings?

Maya and Bailey are abandoned by their parents. The parents divorce when the children are little and send their children to Stamps, Arkansas, to live with their grandmother (Momma). They travel...

Latest answer posted May 8, 2010 12:32 am UTC

1 educator answer

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Maya Angelou's I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. I am confused about character analysis homework. I need to describe...

The difference between static and dynamic is largely the extent of change and growth. Dynamic characters develop in the course of the time period covered in the work. A static character is also...

Latest answer posted January 16, 2019 5:21 pm UTC

1 educator answer

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