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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Literary analysis of chapter 6.
by

Kaitlyn Maranduik

on 16 October 2012

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Transcript of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Maya Angelou I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Chapter 6 Themes Hyperbole Contrast Metaphor Simile Alliteration and Euphony In this chapter, Angelou focuses on the description of Reverend Thomas, a hated yet dutifully respected character, and the strange occurrences that happen at the local church. The chapter also builds the relationship between the speaker and her brother, Bailey, emphasizing their shared childishness. - innocence vs. experience
- the power of language
- dominance and control
- naivete and childishness "I was quite afraid that if I tried to say, "Hello Reverend Thomas," I would choke on the sin of mocking him." page 35 "But the crime that tipped the scale.." page 35
"... a thin curtain would fall over his features..." page 35
"tender-hearted" page 36
"... with the conclusiveness of a fat woman sitting in an easy chair." page 38
"... she just wanted to keep her grandchildren under her eye and thumb." page 38
"Sister Monroe's fuse was already lit, and she sizzled somewhere to the right behind me." page 41
"...I stood on laughter's cliff and any funny thing could hurl me off to my death far below." page 45 "...a part-time Sunday school teacher, gave a scream like a fallen tree..." page 40
"I dreaded laughing..." page 43
" "Bailey and I stood like shadows..." page 36
"shiny Sunday suits" page 40
"...so she made up for her absences by shouting so hard when she did make it that she shook the whole church." page 39 Repetition "...probably doing 'it' to her." "... although 'it' was just as bad..." "...he did 'it' to a white woman." page 36-37 ""Blessed Father, we thank you this morning . . ." and on and on and on." "But as the Reverend droned on and on and on..." page 37 Allusion Deuteronomy - page 38
The fifth book of the Hebrew bible.
Contains themes of monotheism, repent and punishment, and the vitality of obedience.
Hebrew translation: spoken words

Pharisees - page 41
Hebrew translation: set apart
A political and social movement surrounded by conflict about social class.

E. M. Forster's "What I Believe" - page 44
A non-fiction essay focusing on human equality and the three values: tolerance, good temper and sympathy. "He was ugly, fat, and he laughed like a hog with the colic." 34 "Bailey and I stood like shadows..." 36 "...like children left out in the cold." 38 "...phrases like home-run balls..." 39 "...hung loose like stockings on a washline." 40 "Their legs spiked out like kindling wood." 41 "Then suddenly, like a summer rain, Sister Monroe broke through the cloud of people trying to hem her in, and flooded up to the pulpit." 42 Personification "... a meal that would make any Sunday proud." page 37
"...his teeth fell, no his teeth jumped, out of his mouth. The grinning uppers and lowers lay by my right shoe." page 43
In reference to laughter: "working its way up" "escaping" "trying to get out" "it pressed" "forcing" "the laughter attacked him" page 44 Chapter 6: Literary Analysis
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