The Role of Religion in Maya Angelou’s “I know Why the Caged Bird Sings”


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Essay #: 052364
Total text length is 8,367 characters (approximately 5.8 pages).

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The beginning:
An Analysis of the role of religion in Maya Angelou’s “I know why the caged bird sings”
Religion has a very curious role within Angelou’s much-revered story. For one thing, we can plainly see that religion is important to many African-Americans alive during Maya’s youth – her own mother in particular. This religious sensibility, as far as can be determined, made it possible for African-Americans, groaning under the weight of segregation, the threats of the Klan, and the everyday indignities of growing up in the American South (or even the American North) to forgive their malefactors even though common sense would seem to dictate that they had no reason to do so. Moving onward, the play also confronts us with the ambivalence that at least a...
The end:
..... faith like those who are older than her; in that sense, Maya Angelou is the embodiment of a new generation of African-Americans who are less docile than their predecessors (these are the children of the 1960s) and more willing to ask tough questions about the role of religion in African-American life.     
Angelou, Maya. I know why the caged bird sings. New York: Random House, 1970.   
Braendlin, Bonnie. “A Subversion of the American Dream in Maya Angelou’s I Know why the caged bird sings.” MAWA Review, 6.1 (1991): 4-6. 
Manora, Y.M. “What you looking at me for? I didn’t come to stay: displacement, disruption and black female subjectivity in Maya Angelou’s I know why the caged bird sings.” Women’s Studies, 34.5(2005): 359-375.