Maya Angelou Questions and Answers

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What is the setting of "Mrs. Flowers" by Maya Angelou?

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Concepcion Cobbs eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The story you're referring to is a part of Maya Angelou's memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. This story takes place in the 1930s in a town called Stamps, Arkansas. You may recall from your history course that, during the 1930s, the south was at the height of its segregation policies, which separated blacks and whites from each other. When reading, keep in mind that this story takes place within that historical moment.

This excerpt from Angelou's book tells the story of how she was raped and began, understandably, having a very hard time trying to move forward with her life. Mrs. Flowers is what Maya Angelou calls "our side's answer to the richest white woman in town." This quote tells us that Angelou clearly looks up to Mrs. Flowers. The rest of the story details how Mrs. Flowers served as a mentor for the girl and how she helped her to move forward with her life.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I assume you're referring to "Mrs. Flowers: A Moment of Friendship."  If so, this is a children's book that is taken from Maya Angelou's autobiographical book "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings."

The story of Mrs. Flowers is set in Sparks, Arkansas in the 1930s.  Marguerite (Maya Angelou's birth name) has been living in St. Louis.  But while there, she was raped by a friend of her mother.  She is, of course, deeply traumatized by the incident.

Now living is Sparks, she is still having a hard time coping.  At that point, she meets Mrs. Flowers, who acts as something of a mentor for her and helps draw her out of her shell.

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