In the autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the main character, Maya, and her older brother, Bailey, have a very close relationship at the beginning of this novel. As children, they were each other’s best friends and they were inseparable. They did everything together and they even thought they had their own language that no one else knew. However, when they first moved in with Mother Vivian, their relationship starts to fall apart. “When spring came to St. Louis, I took out my first library card, and since Bailey and I seemed to be growing apart, I spent most of my days at the library…” (Angelou 76). As the two of them become older, their relationship grows more distant because of their different genders and the different activities each of them enjoyed doing. In the autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the main character, Maya, and her father have a very estranged relationship. Whenever Maya sees her father, she thinks of him as more of a stranger. Towards the end of the book, Maya’s father invites Maya to come visit him for the summer.
When she gets there, she is shocked to see that her father lives in a trailer with his girlfriend who is roughly Maya’s age. Maya’s father invites Maya to come to Mexico with him to go get groceries. Maya agrees to go, and her father ends up leaving her in a shabby bar by herself to run off with his other girl. This just proves he is an unfit parent. “How could he leave in that raunchy bar and go off with his woman? Did he care what happened to me? Not a damn, I decided, and opened the flood gates for hysteria” (Angelou 236). Maya realizes that her father doesn’t give two shoes about her and has no interest in trying to be a father to her. In the autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the main character, Maya, is moved from place to place and always has the feeling of displacement, or not belonging. I can relate to Maya’s feelings of displacement.
Throughout my life, I too have moved to many different places and schools. I was used to being the new kid and having no friends. I used to be afraid to even make friends because I knew that I wouldn’t be in that school for too much longer after I did. After going to five different schools and living in seven different houses, I’ve felt the feeling of displacement many times and like Maya, had my issues with trying to connect to people. While reading this novel, I knew how Maya felt all those time she didn’t feel like she belonged and all the times she moved. Those parts are what go to me the most because I know how it feels to leave behind the people you love.
Courtney from Study Moose
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