I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

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Chapter 32: Summary and Analysis

New Characters:
Bootsie: the acknowledged leader of the junkyard gang

Lee Arthur: the only boy who ran with the junkyard gang and lived at home

Juan: the gang member who gives Marguerite a black lace handkerchief

Summary
After she runs away from the neighbor’s home, Marguerite finds an abandoned car in which she sleeps that night. The next morning when she awakes, she sees a group of young faces peering in at her. The faces are those of a gang of young people who live in the junked cars. Marguerite lives with the gang for one month.

The month is not a bad one. Marguerite learns to drive, dance, and curse. In addition, she learns tolerance and develops some security.

At the end of the month she calls her mother and asks for fare home. Before she leaves she receives two gifts: a black lace handkerchief from Juan and a friendship ring from a girl in the gang. After she flies to her mother, Marguerite says, “I was at home, again.”

Analysis
The reader sees a great deal of growth in Marguerite in this chapter: “After a month my thinking processes had so changed that I was hardly recognizable to myself.”; “During the month that I spent in the yard I learned to drive . . . to curse and to dance”; and...

(The entire section is 431 words.)