Illustration of the silhouetted profile of a person's face and three birds next to an orange sun

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

by Maya Angelou

Start Free Trial

Student Question

Who helped Marguerite stop behaving like an "old biscuit" in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Maya relishes the familiarity of Stamps after she and Bailey return from St. Louis, and she sinks into a withdrawn depression, rarely speaking aloud to anyone.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.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial