I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Part 2

Abandonment, molestation, racism, sexism; each on its own is enough to discourage and break a person down - I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings introduction. Well, Mrs. Maya Angelou overcame it all. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings has many lessons of overcoming adversities in many illustrations. This novel is an auto biography of the author and poet Maya Angelou. It teaches how to deal with abandonment by looking to others, molestation by speaking out, racism and sexism by standing for and believing in your self and your self worth. To begin the novel Maya and her brother, Bailey, are abandoned by their parents at a very young age, this is the first struggle with adversity Maya must face.

Maya suffers from this adversity in many ways; in one way she begins to have a low self esteem. She was sent to live with a grandmother she’d never met. But even with the adversity Maya dealt with her situation the best she could. Bailey became her “safety”. She depended on him for familiarity, for comfort, for support. She may have been abandoned but she found the love she lost in her brother. She also began a relationship with her grandmother equal to that of the relationship between a mother and daughter. Maya teaches that instead of focusing on those that have abandoned you, look to those you still have around.

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Molestation: A topic that is uncomfortable for all. Molestation is an adversity that more dealt with than known. Not every victim of molestation is ready and willing to really deal with what has happened to them. Maya teaches, in this novel, to speak out. Not only with molestation but in any situation, people need to find the strength to speak up and speak out. Finding your voice in any situation is hard but there are people that do it facing the worst hardships. Speaking up is a skill that all people need, not only to be heard but to have others listen. Maya was growing up in the South.

Not only was she a little black child but she was a female at that, two minorities in one. She suffered with self esteem issues from being abandoned and from growing up in the south as a young black girl. She was looked down upon not only by whites but by blacks too. She was not as attractive as the rest of her family. She over came this by doing what made her find worth in her self. She had to realize herself that she was valuable and had attributes that were of value to others. She found that being black or being a woman made her no less a person, no less intelligent, no less important than any other person.

All in all, the novel I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings teaches a lot of valuable lessons. Through the adversity in the book a reader can learn how to deal with adversity by looking and leaning on the ones that surround you, by finding your voice and speaking up, and by finding worth in one’s self. These lessons are learned through Maya’s hardships dealing with abandonment, molestation, racism and sexism. Even though some of the situations are more than someone may deal with the same principles can still be applied.

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