I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Themes & Motifs

This Study Guide consists of approximately 53 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
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Discrimination

One of the primary themes in the novel is that of discrimination. From the very beginning of the novel, Maya describes a very deep, intimate and painful knowledge that she was different than everyone else. She knew, from an early age, that she was part of a group of individuals that, for whatever reason, were seen as "less than". When she is a young child, she can recognize that she feels differently because of the color of her skin and her lack of monetary wealth. She sees, in Stamps, Arkansas, that there is a vast difference in the way whites and blacks are treated, but even this is somewhat muted day today, as her grandmother is someone with substantial power and influence, as a local store owner. Over time, however, Maya begins to realize the depth of hatred some of the whites in town feel for...

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This section contains 1,660 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Study Guide
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