“My name is Margaret” by Maya Angelou

Categories: Maya Angelou

“My name is Margaret” was written by Maya Angelou. She was born in 1928 in America, and her full name was Marguerite Annie Johnson. Maya Angelou was a talented person. She was a poet, an author, a singer, an actress, and a playwright. Writing “My name is Margaret” she recovered the truth of the unfair behavior of the white people with the black ones and described the people’s loss of their identity.

My name is Margaret summary

The story tells about the young black girl who started to work for the white woman.

She was only ten years old, and it was a great and remarkable experience for her. She was forced to study many things in the household hadn’t known before. The girl was surprised what a great variety of kitchen tools there can be. She hadn’t even realized that there existed the glasses for water, glasses for wine, glasses for the ice cream and a lot of more that astonished her.

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The same was with the knives, forks, and other tools and consequently, a great part of her working day was spent on learning all of these things.

Margaret was working on an ugly old lady who couldn’t have their children. The girl mentioned that the only thing that could beautify her mistress was a smile. However, this smile only appeared on Mrs. Cullinan’s face when she was sharing a cup of tea with her friend ladies. There was one more servant, Miss Glory, who had been working in that house for twenty years and patiently taught Margaret everything that she should know about household and the manners of their mistress.

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The bad things began when Mrs. Cullinan called the girl “Mary” for the first time, explaining that is a shorter name and more convenient to pronounce. Margaret was extremely dissatisfied with this action and was struggling to do her best to get rid of this job.

My name is Margaret analysis

Maya Angelou tried to picture the importance of our names. Each name is a unique and expresses the peculiarities of its owner. Surrounding people identify us with the help of our names. In our minds, each name is associated with the list of different stories, occasions, situations related to the person who owns this name. Our name creates a specific picture, and if we change it, we stop being ourselves.

That is why Margaret was extremely shocked and crossed when she heard the first time the name “Mary” that was appealing to her. She didn’t react and tried to explain with all her behavior that her name isn’t Mary. She didn’t want to be somebody else; she wanted to be herself that meant to be Margaret, not Mary. Being called with another name signified for her that nobody took in the consideration her existence. None forced to notice her and communicate with her as with specific and unique individual. For her mistress, Margaret was just a servant, and she didn’t bother how to name her. Mrs. Cullinan never minded thinking about girl’s personality as far as the servant complete her work and do everything that is demanded of her. Margaret wanted to be herself, but nobody cared who she was and who she wanted to be.

The girl found out that the elder servant, Miss Glory, had met the same situation in her life. Her real name was Hallelujah. Though, Mrs. Cullinan once decided that it is too long to remember and pronounce every time such a complete name and shortened it to the Glory. Margaret didn’t expect to hear that. She couldn’t understand why the senior woman didn’t even mind it and even loved her new name better. It was inadmissible to live the whole life with the name that doesn’t belong to you. Miss Glory may not bother, but Margaret took the strong decision not to tolerate it. If they didn’t want to receive her as Margaret, she wouldn’t act as Margaret. She didn’t care about rules and successions and did everything wrong on purpose. She aimed to attract the attention of being a bad servant and to be discharged.

After all, there was a day when Mrs. Cullinan finally called the girl “Margaret.” Unfortunately, it was after having experienced the pain of the crushing of her favorite china serving tray. The serving tray was of extreme importance in Mrs. Cullinan’s house as it was her mother’s china from Virginia. The mistress was broken and bursting with the tears. In the condition of complete desperateness, she shouted: “Her name is Margaret.” Margaret was glad that she finally forced her mistress to understand the simple truth – her name was not Mary. Her name was Margaret.

Maya Angelou wanted everyone to understand how it is extremely important not to lose the identity in our everyday life. Many people would consider us as somebody who lives someone else’s life. However, we shouldn’t agree for any reason. We were born to be unique, and that means, we could not die as a copy of another person.

Updated: Nov 01, 2022
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“My name is Margaret” by Maya Angelou. (2016, Oct 28). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/my-name-is-margaret-by-maya-angelou-essay

“My name is Margaret” by Maya Angelou essay
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