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How Maya Angelou Gives Personal Account Of Her Life And How She Dealt With Abandonment And Loneliness, Discrimination, And Rape In I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

1345 words - 6 pages

Elena SmuklerEnglish 9H1May, 2001 I Know Why The Caged Bird SingsIn the early-19th century African-American were forced to deal with the Depression, poverty, and primarily discrimination; many had to endure tremendous hardships throughout their lives and constantly hoped to survive the pains of discrimination. In spite of the many tragedies that befell unto them caused by such prejudices, black men and women learned to display a strong sense of self-worth and pride. Maya Angelou was one of these people who learned to defeat such adversity. Although faced with abandonment, bigotry, sexual abuse, poverty, and loneliness, her strong determination and pride help her to overcome such hardships. ...view middle of the document...

Yearly, they received Christmas presents from their parents and this terribly upset them because they were reminded that their parents were alive and they were forced to accept the fact that their parents were able to remain happy without being with them. At times like these, Maya felt abandonment and much loneliness. Also Maya had little chance to interact with other children for she was constantly expected to work in the store owned by Momma and Uncle Willie. Both this and her unattractiveness caused Maya to feel loneliness during her childhood in Stamps. She again felt abandonment when her father, Bailey Sr., came to Stamps to take her and Bailey to live with him in California. Maya and Bailey almost immediately forgave their mother for abandoning them, however their father almost instantly left the children. This transfer and move was merely one in a series of many others her and Bailey would be forced to endure throughout their lives. Because of these circumstances, Maya learned to become independent and slowly learned to cease her constant dependency on Bailey. Also, during a later stay with her father, Maya decided to "go astray" and run away from home to a place where she hoped she would belong. For the remainder of the summer months, Maya lived with a group of homeless teenagers in a junkyard. During this period she learned to dance, swear and gain a sense of belonging and self-confidence. After returning home and realizing how much she had matured, Maya began to feel loneliness as she recognized that she no longer fit in with her peers. Maya began to skip school and considered quitting; nevertheless Maya completed her education and overcame such feelings of loneliness and abandonment. In attempting to overcome these feelings, Maya went off course by running away and considering dropping out of school, however in the end she was successful in effectively overcoming these hardships.Being a black, underprivileged female in wartime America complicated Maya's childhood and life as she grew up. She was taught that Blacks were not expected to be successful in their endeavors and she learned of the hostility between the powerful whites and the defenseless blacks. Many of the black children in Stamps had yet to even see a white person and were even forced to eat chocolate ice cream rather than vanilla simply because of its color. She was forced to watch as a group of disdainful white girls, whom she categorized as "Powhitetrash," disrespected Momma and mocked her merely because of her race. She also learned of the hatred of whites as Momma was once told to warned to hide Uncle Willie for it was suspected that a mob of white man, presumably the KKK, would be around later to kill any black man they saw. Maya was introduced firsthand...

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