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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

by Maya Angelou
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Who helped Marguerite stop "sopping around the house . . . like an old biscuit"?

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Maya relishes the familiarity of Stamps after she and Bailey return from St. Louis, and she sinks into a withdrawn depression, rarely speaking aloud to anyone. In chapter 15 of the memoir, we learn that after almost a year of sopping "around the house, the store, the school, and the...

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Maya relishes the familiarity of Stamps after she and Bailey return from St. Louis, and she sinks into a withdrawn depression, rarely speaking aloud to anyone. In chapter 15 of the memoir, we learn that after almost a year of sopping "around the house, the store, the school, and the church, like an old biscuit," Mrs. Bertha Flowers enters Maya's life and helps the healing process begin. Mrs. Flowers is described as "the aristocrat of Black Stamps" and is kind, compassionate, educated, beautiful, well-dressed, and impeccably-mannered. She changes Maya's life by welcoming the girl into her home for regular visits, imparting wisdom in a stern yet sensitive manner and introducing her to a rich home library full of the classics. Maya describes the visits as "lessons in living," and she notes that being liked and respected by Mrs. Flowers simply for being herself made an impact on her life.

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