I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

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Chapter 31: Summary and Analysis

In this chapter, Angelou describes the quarrel between Dolores and Marguerite’s father which occurs after Bailey, Sr., and Marguerite return home from Mexico. When the angry father leaves the trailer to visit neighbors, Marguerite feels sorry for Dolores and tries to make up with her. Dolores will not make up and calls Vivian a whore; Marguerite slaps Dolores. During the scuffle that follows, Dolores cuts Marguerite.

When Dolores goes after her with a hammer, Marguerite locks herself in the car. The neighbors, including Marguerite’s father, hear the disturbance and take Dolores inside the trailer to quiet her. Marguerite longs to go inside to show her father her wound, but she is reluctant to be seen with blood on her clothes because of her “feminine training.” When Bailey, Sr., sits down in the car with Marguerite, he sees the blood and takes her to a neighbor’s for treatment and for shelter.

The next morning...

(The entire section is 321 words.)