I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Chapter 5: Summary and Analysis

Maya Angelou

Chapter 5: Summary and Analysis

New Characters:
Powhitetrash: poor, dirty, ill-mannered white children who live on Mrs. Henderson’s land and antagonize her

Summary
Mrs. Henderson demands cleanliness and manners from her grandchildren. These habits are foreign to the powhitetrash who live on Mrs. Henderson’s land. On the afternoon in question, Marguerite has just completed sweeping the yard and has made a design in the dirt. Mrs. Henderson looks admiringly at the design and sees the powhitetrash approaching. Mrs. Henderson sends Marguerite inside and faces the children alone. They laugh at her and imitate her, and then one of the girls stands on her head and reveals that she has no underpants. Through it all Mrs. Henderson...

(The entire section is 460 words.)