Chapter 11 Notes from I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

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I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings Chapter 11

St Louis seems incredibly strange to Maya. She feels the same way about it as she felt about Stamps: she doesn't really belong there. Mr. Freeman waits for their mother to come home (she works late, running poker games) and rarely speaks to the children. He simply sits and waits for her. Bailey and Maya have certain emotional problems: he stutters, and she has nightmares. She sleeps in bed with Mother and Mr. Freeman because of this. One morning her mother leaves early and Maya feels something against her leg. She realizes, without really knowing how she knows, that it is Mr. Freeman's penis. He puts his hand between her legs. She isn't afraid, and he doesn't hurt her, but she has been told not to let anyone touch her there, so she is nervous. Then he asks her to feel his penis. She does so, thinking it feels very strange, and then he holds her against him and begins to shake. He is masturbating, but she doesn't realize this: she thinks he is going to die, and is afraid of what will happen to her. Then he quiets down and holds her for a long time. She feels wonderfully safe, like he must be her real father. But then he gets up and says he has to talk to her. He tells her she wet the bed-it is wet, but she knows she didn't cause it. Then he tells her that he will kill Bailey if she tells anyone what they did together. She is shocked, and doesn't know what to do. "There was an army of adults, whose motives and movements I just couldn't understand and who made no effort to understand mine." Chapter 11, pg. 73 She does not dislike Mr. Freeman, she just doesn't understand him. She likes the comfort of his arms, though, and one day sits on his lap again. He pushes her around on his lap for a while, then abruptly runs to the bathroom. He does not speak to her for months. She reads often, especially melodramatic stories about great escapes, and wishes she were a boy, so she could have adventures like the boys she reads about.

Topic Tracking: Strength 4
Topic Tracking: Ignorance 4

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