Maya Angelou's Use of Symbolism, Dialogue, and Conflict in her writings

Essay by ty5833High School, 11th grade March 2004

download word file, 3 pages 4.0

Downloaded 117 times

Maya Angelou was born on April 4, 1928 as Marguerite Johnson. She is a native of St. Louis, Missouri. Maya is a great autobiography writer, poet and writer of plays. She is also a producer, director, actor, performer, and singer. She spent her babyhood in California, however, after her parents divorced Maya and her brother went to live with their mother in Stamps, Arkansas. For a short period of time when Maya was eight, she went to live with her mother's family and she was raped and became mute for several years to follow. When she returned to the south, she began to read books, and study writing. Once she became a teenager she moved back to California, had her only child, Guy Johnson, and finished high school. Maya became nationally known in 1993 when she read her inaugural poem "On The Pulse Of The Morning" at President Bill Clinton's inauguration.

She has written five autobiographies but the one that she is most recognized for is "I Know Why the Caged Bird sings." This particular autobiography got her nominated for the National Book Award. Maya's four autobiographies are:

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings (1969)

Gather Together in My Name (1974)

Singin' and Swingin' and Getting Merry Like Christmas (1976)

The Heart of A Woman (1981)

All Gods Children Need Traveling Shoes (1986)

The fact that Maya Angelou speaks French, Spanish, Italian and West African Fanti made her journeys outside of that United States much easier for her considering that she was gone for such a long period of time. Angelou's journeys outside of America began in 1961 when Maya moved to Cairo, Egypt where she lived for two years and served as the associate editor for the Arab Observer, the only English newspaper in the Middle East at...