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I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings

  • Date Submitted: 04/14/2014 07:55 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 69 
  • Words: 831
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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Final Assessment
​“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This is said by Maya Angelou the author of her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Her story talks about all of the obstacles she has suffered through in her life. However, the book may not be completely accurate because when somebody goes through a terrible ordeal the brain will suppress the memory. When recalling the event, Maya may have used things she has come across to fill in the gaps that she could not remember. This is why I believe Maya Angelou is not a reliable narrator because she exaggerates her experiences and makes her readers have sympathy for her.
​To begin, when reading this autobiography there were instances where the events in her life may have not been dependable. Maya was a young child during most of these times which makes me second guess how she would remember anything that happened to her. For example, “When I was three and Bailey four, we had arrived in the musty little town, wearing tags on our wrist...” and “Our parents have decided to put an end to their calamitous marriage, and father shipped us home to his mother” (Page 5). Seeing that Maya was only three at the times doesn’t make sense how she remembers it so well. She even says “I don’t remember much of the trip…” (Page 5) so how can she be trustworthy when writing this book about her childhood.
​Furthermore, Maya could have an exaggerating extent that could have distorted tragedies she went through. She made her looks as a kid sound worse than what she actually looked like. For instance, she comments on her Easter dress saying “But Easter’s early morning sun had shown the dress to be a plain ugly cut-down from a white woman’s once-was-purple throwaway” (Page 2) which shows that her dress was not appealing. She also explains that her hair is a “kinky mass” (Page 2) and her eyes were...


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