Chapter 35 Notes from I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

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I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings Chapter 35

After reading The Well of Loneliness, a famous lesbian novel, Maya worries that she might be a lesbian, though she does not really know what this means. At sixteen, her body is still undeveloped, and her voice is deep. After worrying for days, she asks her mother about it, but she is too embarrassed to ask directly. At first her mother thinks she has a sexually transmitted disease. When she realizes that Maya simply doesn't understand her own anatomy (she assumed there was something abnormal about her developing vagina) Mother has her read the dictionary definition of "vulva." Relieved that she is normal, Maya begins to cry, and her mother hugs her. Soon after, one of Maya's friends sleeps over, and Maya watches her undress, amazed at the beauty and femininity of her breasts. Suddenly Maya again believes she must be a lesbian. She decides she needs a boyfriend. She is very confused as to how to go about this, however, so she simply asks a good-looking boy if he wants to have sex with her. Struck dumb, he agrees. They go to an apartment owned by his friend and have a wordless, completely unromantic sexual experience. Afterward, she has no idea how someone could think love or sex was that important. She forgets the boy, and three weeks later, she is pregnant.

Topic Tracking: Ignorance 11

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