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I Know why the Caged Bird Sings: Chapter 25 Notes

Uploaded by frolix on Apr 27, 2000

Chapter 25

1. In this chapter, Maya and Bailey are introduced to the idea of being moved to California, this being because of Bailey’s incident with a murdered black man.

2.a) In this chapter Maya Angelou gives us some more insight on Mamma’s character, she establishes the reason for Mamma’s secretive and over-protective nature “Her African-bush secretiveness and suspiciousness had been compounded by slavery and confirmed by centuries of promises made and promises broken. We have a saying among Black Americans, which explains Mamma’s caution. ‘ If you ask a Negro where he’s been, he’ll tell you where he’s going’” (Angelou 164). In this paragraph Maya Angelou lets us know why Negroes at that time were so shielding of their privacy and how this related to Mamma telling them a ‘part truth’ to cover up the ‘real truth’ for them being sent away. Maya effectively develops Mamma through the situation that occurred when Bailey came home in horror “ ‘ When I passed the calaboose, some men had just fished him out of the pond. He was wrapped in a sheet, all rolled up like a mummy, and then a white man walked over and pulled the sheet off. The man was on his back but the white man struck his foot under the sheet and rolled him over on the stomach.’” (Angelou 167). Mamma’s instinct told her to get those kids out of there, no child should have to witness the atrocity of a murdered body. “ Whatever the real reason, The Truth, for taking us to California, I shall always think it lay mostly in an incident in which Bailey had the leading part” (Angelou 165). Mamma’s action to get the children away solidifies the readers faith in her as being a strong, powerful and caring individual.

c) A story that illustrates life in those times is Bailey’s incident by the river. This illustrates the racism and unfairness against Negroes, and the senseless violence against them.

“Then a white man walked over and pulled the sheet off. The man was on his back but the white man stuck his foot under the sheet and rolled him over on the stomach… My, he had no color at all. He was bloated like a ball.” (Angelou 167)

Any white person could kill a black person, and instead of being punished they were congratulated and given encouragement. Also, the black people had become desensitized so seeing their...

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Uploaded by:   frolix

Date:   04/27/2000

Category:   I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

Length:   5 pages (1,171 words)

Views:   2309

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