I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Chapter 22: Summary and Analysis

Maya Angelou

Chapter 22: Summary and Analysis

New Character:
George Taylor: widower of Mrs. Florida Taylor and a visitor to the homes in the area

Summary
Chapter 22 describes the rainy night when Mr. Taylor appears unexpectedly at the door. Mr. Taylor had been taking meals all over town since the death of his wife. He begins to tell them about dreams of his deceased wife.

Marguerite listens to the tales and recalls her fear at Mrs. Taylor’s funeral. When her grandmother asks her to go into the kitchen, Marguerite finds she is frightened of even going into the kitchen alone.

Marguerite lays a pallet for Mr. Taylor in Uncle Willie’s room.

Analysis
In this chapter, Angelou’s vivid imagery helps us visualize Mrs. Taylor’s funeral. The reader can see the “black-dressed usher” and smell the “sickening black clothes worn in summer weather.” Marguerite finds the entire funeral difficult to bear, especially when she must view Mrs. Taylor in the coffin. This vivid depiction also enables the reader to learn more about funeral customs in Stamps.