“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”

I recently finished “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” for English Literature. I am meant to compare it to Great Expectations which I am not sure is going to be easy! Anyway I did really enjoy reading about Maya and I think her optimism is actually quite inspiration although I would say this definaetly stemned from her mother. I just love how she is so happy even though she has faced rape, teenage pregnancy and racism and she is still so strong inwardly as well as outwardly. I know if it had been me I would be a total wreck, so I admire her for that.

Of course with any book I must bring a long critism, purely because I enjoy ranting! I did enjoy this book but for a considerable time she lived her Mrs Henderson her grandmother who she called Momma, who was vwery religious and would make her attend church weekly and would whip her if she went against God. Aside from this Maya was also very religious. However at the age of 16 she is worried she may be “turning into a lesbian” she thinks it is more to do with appearence then sexual orientation, I think this is from not being told anything and being treated like she is stupid. She is treated like a child and therefore has to make her own opinions and judgements which can be like this one and be wrong. Anyway back to the point at the age of 16 she finds a boy who she has never spoken to before but vaguely knows and asks him if he wants to have sex with her, she just asks him straight up. She is purely just using him to find out whether she does like boys or not. Then three weeks later she finds herself pregnant. She then talks about pregnancy being easy and gives a very romantisized idea of having a baby. Her mother asks her if she wants to marry the boy and whether he wants to marry her, she says no to both and she leaves it be. Most mothers who find out there daughters are pregnant, especially at this time, would probably go crazy! They couldn’t even tell she was pregnant until she told them three weeks before she gave birth.

However I did enjoy this book and loved Maya Angelou, I thought she was such a happy person even after everything she had been through, maybe this is why she was not phased by being pregnant at 16 perhaps. I find her to be such a inspiration! I love the way she chuckles as well!


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