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Divine Inspiration

  • Date Submitted: 07/08/2010 11:55 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 66.4 
  • Words: 1003
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Many people can inspire and influence the way one thinks and acts. In life, there are positive and negative influences. Most of the time, the positive influences are people who can make a person see the world in a new perspective. In Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, there are many positive female influences that leave a lasting impact on Maya. As a result of treating her equal, giving her strength to persevere, and providing her with knowledge, the female figures in Maya’s life influences her in a positive way.
In the novel, the female figures that Maya admire are positive influences because they treat her with equality; “There were no favorite students. No teacher’s pets” (Angelou 216). For once, Maya feels accepted for who she is as a person, not for what ethnicity she belongs to. Thus, Miss Kirwin is the only teacher Maya remembers and admires because she never played favorites and never treated Maya differently from the other students. Among the many changes Maya has to experience, she moves to a new school with only three black students, and white students who appear aggressive and well educated. Therefore Maya is unsure of what is to be expected when she states:

She was stimulating instead of intimidating. Where some of the other teachers went out of their way to be nice to me-to be “liberal” with me- and others ignored me completely, Miss Kirwin never seemed to notice that I was Black and therefore different (Angelou 216).

With the new transformation, Maya expects most teachers to treat her with inequality because it is what she grew to know. Therefore, when the teachers treat her differently it comes as no surprise. However, Miss Kirwin treats her equivalent to the other students, thus, Maya appreciates her teaching ability and work ethics entirely. As a result, Miss Kirwin is seen as a positive influence in Maya’s life. Also, Miss Glory shows Maya that she is her own individual when she corrects Mrs.Cullinan, “You mean Margaret,...

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