I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Topics: Black people, Maya Angelou, Beauty Pages: 3 (974 words) Published: February 21, 2013
In the book Maya Angelou looks very deep into the ways that she is self-aware and her self-deception. In the ways of self-awareness is to know that she didn’t really feel like she belonged anywhere. Then, in Mayas self-deception to believe that she thinks and wants to be something that she can never be and to find happiness in who she is. Maya tells a weaving tale through the book and lets you see her true inner self and essentially her coming of age story through her self-awareness and self-deception.

Maya’s self-awareness starts with her overall appearance. She finds her brother, Bailey, breathtakingly beautiful and so does everyone else. “Where I was big, elbowy and grating, he was small, graceful and smooth. When I was described by our playmates as being shit color, he was lauded for his velvet-black skin (Angelou pg. 22).” The older people in the town make fun of her, and even though Bailey tries to protect her, Maya still feels the sting behind their harsh words. She starts to see herself as something that is not beautiful, and Maya believes that if only people could see how beautiful she really is then maybe they would accept her. So when Easter comes around she is chosen to say a poem, there she will wear a white dress. Maya imagines that this white dress will transform her into something more beautiful. It shows her lack of love for herself and her so great desire to become beautiful. Maya sees beauty as white beauty and not an inner beauty, so Maya believes that you must be white with long blonde hair and blue eyes to be beautiful. Maya hopes that this white dress will show the people her true beauty. “Wouldn’t they be surprised when one day I woke out of my black ugly dream, and my real hair, which was long and blond would take place of the kinky mass that Momma wouldn’t let me straighten? My light-blue eyes were going to hypnotize them (Angelou pg. 2).” Mayas deep hope to be beautiful will only come from her own self-acceptance in the book, and her...
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