"I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou.

Essay by fatty-boy-04High School, 11th grade May 2003

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In the novel, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, the black male is depicted as in inferior member of society. Throughout the story, the black males are shown to be unintelligent, violent, abusive people. Even the one or two good black men end up being bad in the end. This book depicts the black male as a bum, or better yet a hoodlum.

In the beginning of the novel, Bailey Jr. was the loving big brother who provided a sense of stability and continuity for Maya. Nevertheless, as the plot progressed he became somewhat of a thug. He started becoming an insurgent, staying out late at night with out telling anyone where he was. He jumped on the back of a train and ended up stranded in Baton Rouge. In addition, he became a criminal, stealing from his grandmother's store.

As Maya recalled, "We had always taken candy and a few nickels and of course the sour pickle, but Bailey, now called upon to feed Joyce's ravening hunger, took cans of sardines and greasy polish sausage and cheese and even the expensive cans of pink salmon."

In addition, to all this he was forced to leave his grandmother and mother's houses to moved in with his hooker girlfriend. In the end, the caring, responsible brother becomes a pimp at 16 years old.

Daddy Clidell, the owner of numerous apartment buildings and pool halls, became the only true father figure Maya ever knew. She loved his strength and his tenderness. Nevertheless, at the same time she stated, "He was a simple man who had no inferiority complex about his lack of education and even more amazing, no superiority complex because he had succeeded despite that lack." In essence, the quote means that this black male was so ignorant that...