What are the caged bird's privileges and obligations toward freedom?

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Throughout the poem, Angelou's speaker refers primarily to the caged bird's desires and restrictions. Classifying the bird's attitudes or emotions as privileges or obligations requires a shift in perspective.

It could be argued that this bird has no privileges. Whoever has caged them has established the conditions. Perhaps the bird's...

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Throughout the poem, Angelou's speaker refers primarily to the caged bird's desires and restrictions. Classifying the bird's attitudes or emotions as privileges or obligations requires a shift in perspective.

It could be argued that this bird has no privileges. Whoever has caged them has established the conditions. Perhaps the bird's continued ability to sing could be called a privilege, but it is a natural ability: it has not been bestowed by another.

The caged bird is obligated to stay in the cage and not to fly, as his wings are clipped. Because his voice is heard in the distance, reminding others that some birds are still not free, it might be considered his obligation to warn others of that fact. He sounds a warning to others of the value of their freedom.

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