I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings book cover
Start Your Free Trial

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

Expert Answers info

Jamie Wheeler eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write2,050 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

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 that the older Maya is viewing her life with the near-omniscient perspective of being both above and removed from the immediacy of her childhood. Speaking of the well-to-do African-American man who lived next to the Store, young Maya is in awe of "the only colored man I knew...who wore matching pants and jackets."

The older Maya speaks metaphorically of the man as she recounts, "I watched him with the excitement of expecting him to do anything at any time. I never tired of this, or became disappointed or disenchanted with him, although from the perch of age, I see him now as a very simple and uninteresting man...".

Another metaphor can be found in the first paragraph of Chapter 7. Maya and Bailey have just met their father. One feels the child's confusion as Maya describes her world that has suddenly become "humpty-dumptied, never to be put back together again."

A simile (one of many) can be found near the end of Chapter 6, when Maya describes the verbose preacher, Elder Thomas, whose lips she describes as "flapping loose like elastic."

Further Reading:
check Approved by eNotes Editorial