Mommas Encounter Essay - Maya Angelou

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings Essay

730 Words3 Pages

Three primary problems “cage” Maya Angelou in her autobiographical book I Know why the Caged Bird Sings. The most pressing of these issues was probably the fact that Maya lived in the highly segregated south. Another factor of her imprisonment was because Maya, also known as Marguerite, was a social outcast, with very few friends other then relatives. Finally, the main character was entrapped because of her unusual sexual exposure. Over all, the highly segregated life she led, her exclusion socially, and her sexual experience caught Ms. Angelou.

At the time, racism was predominate amongst southern citizens, this caused Maya’s displacement because she was a young black girl. Throughout the book Maya faces prejudice, and is constantly…show more content…

All in all, one reason Ms. Angelou locked up was because she was Black and lived in a time of segregation.

Although Marguerite loved what few friends she had, she was a misfit, the fact of which contributed to her confinement. On page four Johnson says, “If growing up is painful for a Southern Black girl being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat,” despite the fact that Ritie could admit it or not, being a social pariah is situation that would make any girl feel as though the walls were closing in on her, and with Angelou this feeling was especially significant. Maya often wished the she would wake up as her “true self,” a beautiful white girl; on page two Angelou writes, “Wouldn’t they be surprised when one day I woke out of my ugly black dream, and my real hair, which was long and blonde, would take place of the kinky mass that Momma wouldn’t let me straighten?” This quote shows that Ritie never thought herself pretty, and simply ached to be beautiful, to simply fit in. Maya was obviously entrapped by her being an outcast because she so badly wanted to be something else.

Finally, Marguerite was imprisoned because of her unfortunate sexual experiences as a child. It goes without saying that when Maya was rapped she already been caught, and not talking to anyone and blaming Mr. Freeman’s death on herself just made it worse. Furthermore, Ms. Angelou had a rather odd

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Grandmother's Victory by Maya Angelou Essay

754 Words4 Pages

Grandmother's Victory by Maya Angelou

Grandmother's Victory was written by Maya Angelou. This story was about Maya Angelou as a young girl

who lived in the state of Arkansas with her grandmother, whom she called "Mama", in the 1940's. Maya's

grandmother was a very clean God fearing woman. She taught her grandchildren to be clean, religious, respectful,

and God fearing also. In the 1940's there was segregation between blacks and whites. So therefore, there was a

lot of racial tension. Whites didn't have to respect, or some didn't speak to blacks with any respect. Mama owned

a grocery store (well known in both the black and white communities) on her own farmland. At the time it was…show more content…

Eloise, Helen and Ruth (disrespectful

white girls) came into the store one day and called Maya's uncle by his first name, which this was a sign of disrespect.

Maya was taught to address adults as Mister, Miss, Missus, Uncle, Auntie, Sister and Brother. The white children

ordered Mama and Maya's uncle around. To Maya it was as though they were "serving" the white children. Maya

couldn't understand why her grandmother and uncle were "serving" them when they were unclean and disrespectful.

I think when Mama told Maya to go inside when Eloise, Helen and Ruth were coming is because she knew that

they were going to do mean, nasty, disrespectful things that see didn't want Maya to see. They teased and made fun of

Mama in her face. I believe they did these things for meanness and just because they felt they could. Mama couldn't

make them stop teasing and making fun of her. I think if she did say something to them to try to make them stop or go

away, they would have went back and told to make trouble for Mama and her family. So Mama just sat there and took it.

Maya mad and helpless because she couldn't do anything about it either.

To answer Maya's question, "How could Mama call them Miz when they were dirty and impudent?". I think she

did it to show them that they

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