"The caged bird" by Maya Angelo. How is pathos conveyed in this poem?

Essay by allstarstudentHigh School, 10th gradeA+, May 2007

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How pathos is conveyed in “Caged bird”?This essay is about my understanding of how pathos is created by the use of different poetic devices. The poetic devices I have chosen to use in this essay which seem most effective in my opinion are Diction, Personification, Structure (rhyme scheme), Title, and juxtaposition.

The meaning of pathos is like an all round synonym for words such as sadness,Pity, sympathy, sorrowfulness, misery, tenderness and hopelessness.

The diction used for the poem “caged bird’ are very different according to what bird each stanza is referring to. For instance some examples of verbs used for the free bird are leaps, floats, dips, dares and examples of verbs used to describe the caged bird are stalks, can seldom see, wings are clipped, stands, and shouts. The verbs used to describe the free bird give us the impression of freedom and movement which implicates the free bird’s lifestyle where it has the opportunity to be active whereas the verbs used to describe the caged bird predicts misery, dismal existence and a lot of effort.

If we look at the nouns used as well, there is also a massive difference. For example the nouns used for the free bird are wind, currents, sun, sky, breeze and trees. On the other hand, nouns used to describe the caged bird are cage, bars, rage, distant hills and grave of dreams. The choice of nouns used to describe the free bird really reflect its lifestyle because in reality the free bird does get the opportunity to experience nature whereas the choice of nouns used for the caged bird predict imprisonment, lack of movement and desperation which precisely reflects its life caged up.

Maya Angelo does this so that we see the humongous difference between happiness to the extreme and misery...