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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

by Maya Angelou

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Chapter 2: Questions and Answers

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Study Questions
1. What handicap did Uncle Willie have?

2. Who was Uncle Willie’s mother?

3. Why did his mother say he was handicapped?

4. How did Uncle Willie punish the children if they made a second mistake on their times tables?

5. Who was Marguerite’s first white “love”?

6. How did Marguerite pacify herself about Shakespeare’s whiteness?

7. Who was the poet that Marguerite and Bailey memorized?

8. What was the name of the poem that they memorized?

9. Why did Marguerite deliberately jump toward the stove?

10. Why was Marguerite not burned when she jumped toward the stove?

1. Uncle Willie was crippled; he also had a secondary handicap because he stuttered.

2. Uncle Willie’s mother was Annie Henderson.

3. Annie Henderson said that Willie was handicapped because a babysitter dropped him on his head.

4. Uncle Willie would push the children toward the dull red heater if their faltered on their times tables.

5. Marguerite’s first white “love” was William Shakespeare.

6. She pacified herself about his whiteness by “saying that after all he had been dead so long it couldn’t matter to anyone any more.”

7. The children memorized the poet James Weldon Johnson.

8. The poem they memorized was “The Creation.”

9. Marguerite deliberately lunged toward the stove to remove “the possibility of its remaining a threat.” She thought that if she could “face the worst danger voluntarily, and triumph, [she] would forever have power over it.”

10. Marguerite was not burned because Uncle Willie held tight to her dress.

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Chapter 1: Questions and Answers


Chapter 3: Questions and Answers