“I know why the caged bird sings” is Maya Angelou’s heart-wrenching poem that reflects on the mindless oppression that the Blacks were subjected back in the olden days.Her portrayal of the injustice using a “free bird” and a “caged bird” leaves us with a bitter taste that reminds us of the long abolished slavery.A free bird leaps on the back Of the wind and floats downstream Till the current ends and dips his wing In the orange suns rays And dares to claim the sky.Tags: School Uniforms To Wear Or Not To Wear EssayFrankenstein Nature ThesisProper Thesis SentenceTwo Step Problem SolvingEssay Store LayoutSolve Ratio ProblemsEssay On Patriotism In English For Class 9Do My Homework FreeDebate Essay Topics
Angelou has used the symbols of the “free bird” to represent the dominating Whites and a “caged bird” for the oppressed Black races.
Throughout the six stanzas, the speaker uses a reflective tone and alternates between the secured, unshackled life of the “free bird” and the enslaved, crushed life of the “caged bird”.
It became one of the most widely read and taught books written by an African American woman.
The prologue describes an event in which Angelou, as a small child, is reciting a poem in church.
However, wings clipped and feet tied, the “caged bird” keeps singing of freedom.
One of the themes of “I know why the caged bird sings” is the plain racial discrimination between the Whites and the Blacks.
It alludes to the fact that, how the colored races are treated in comparison to the whites.
They are stripped of their fundamental rights to act their will or go any places they want to.
The “free bird” reigns the skies and then swoops down to wallow in the pool of sunlight – it owns the great blue.
However, the caged bird is trapped by the “bars of rage” – it has no other way to express itself but to sing “with a fearful trill”.