Focuses on the literary elements of Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings". Entitled: "The Melody of Maya".

Essay by defacto301Junior High, 9th gradeA+, May 2004

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Just as a sweetly sung melody dances through the wind, Maya Angelou's style flows fluently throughout her writing in her autobiographical piece, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. As the silent listener lets the tune seep into his ears, he begins to notice each individual note. The consistent style of personification and lively imagery exemplifies and enhances the intention of Angelou. The whimsical array of harmony and notes strike a chord inside the heart of the listener. The respectful tone combined with the style of Angelou mute out all other distractions and allows the reader to receive the full embracement of the mood which contrasts sorrow with optimism. The listener is forced to take a step back and ponder...what was this profound melody?

The best authors strive to adopt a style all of their own, and to nurture this harmony until it grows great and strong. This harmony is born from a moment of conception when the author, Maya in this case, first understands who she is and what her life is about.

No other author has the style of Maya, the song is unique. Angelou permits readers a glance at the depth of her lyrics by her unique use of personification and imagery through hyperboles. Towards the beginning of the narrative, readers are given a glimpse into Maya's life as she is first brought to Stamps. The reader is told, "It [the town of Stamps, Arkansas] regarded us a while without curiosity but with caution, and after we were seen to be harmless (and children), it closed in around us, as a real mother embraces a stranger's child. Warmly, but not too familiarly." Maya slowly develops character into the main people who enter her life and additionally into the inanimate town itself. The personification grows an image...