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Caged Bird Ch 10-12
Transcript of Caged Bird Ch 10-12
Kierin Geed Chapters 10-12 Setting Self-Esteem Marguerite is the narrator through chapters 10-12
POV is that of a child --> Readers see her exposure to St. Louis from an innocent, unknowing perspective which provides a more pure sense of truth in what she is saying
"They walked with their knees together and talked through tight lips as if they were afraid to let the sound out as if they were to inhale the dirty air that the listener gave off." (Angelou 64)
Marguerite's interpretation, although it uses figurative language, is very much literal. She tells it as she sees it - allowing us to take a step back and think about the societal differences in St. Louis compared to Stamps. Maya versus Marguerite Maya's Purpose What new insights are revealed about the narrator's attitude towards her feelings of low self-esteem and displacement? "Could I tell her now? The terrible pain assured me that I couldn't. What he did to me, and what I allowed, must have been very bad if already God let me hurt so much. If Mr. Freeman was gone, did that mean that Bailey was out of danger? And if so, if I told him, would he still love me?" (Angelou 81) Feels displacement from Mr. Freeman after first two sexual abuses:
First Time- "For weeks after, he said nothing to me, except the gruff hellos which were given without ever looking in my direction" (Angelou 74).
Second time: "For months he stopped speaking to me again. I was hurt and for a time felt lonelier than ever" (Angelou 75).
These quotes show how she does not know
exactly what Mr. Freeman is doing to her nor
know how bad it is. Not completely mute (Like Hassan from The Kite Runner) but barely talks
Only answers questions from family with short answers such as "Fine, Mother" (Angelou 80).
Shows guilt for something that she did not do (low confidence and self-esteem) Feels displacement from Bailey
"This was the first secret I had ever kept from Bailey and sometimes I thought he should be able to read it on my face, but he noticed nothing" (Angelou 74) Character Development Mr. Freeman Maya Angelou discusses rape which is a familiar topic for her, because she is drawing from life experience.
The narration helps the reader to understand the effects of rape.
"I wasn't sick, but my stomach was on fire.(Angelou 79)"
"I knew that I was dying and, in fact, I longed for death, but I didn't want to die anywhere near Mr. Freeman. (Angelou 81)" "I felt very sorry for Mr. Freeman. I felt as sorry for him as I had felt for a litter of helpless pigs born in our backyard sty in Arkansas. We fattened the pigs all year long for the slaughter" (72-73) Mr. Freeman's smile never grew (71) Maya "Finally, he was quiet, and then came the nice part. He held me so softly that I wished he wouldn't ever let me go (73) Maya Blames Herself Text-to-Text Comparison Loneliness and Displacement New setting; Maya doesn't have anyone she can confide in Grandmother + Grandfather Baxter "The teachers were more formal then those we knew in Stamps, and although they didn't whip their students with switches they gave them licks in the palms of their hands with rulers." Angelou, 64 "St. Louis teachers on the other hand, tended to act very siditty and talked down to their students from the lofty heights of education and whitefolks' enunciation." Uncle Billy
Ira "They were best known for their unrelenting meanness (66) "The negro section of St. Louis in the mid-thirties had all the finesse of a gold-rush town. Prohibition, gambling and their related vocations were so obviously practiced it was hard for me to believe they were against the law" Angelou, 61. Marguerite's tough adjustment to life in St. Louis reveals more on distrust of adults and low self-esteem. She slowly becomes more secluded as Bailey drifts away and can only find refuge in books, a world she knows is safe. "She crashed the man's head with a policeman's billy enough to leave him just this side of death. There was no police investigation nor social reprobation" (66)
(Pat Patterson incident; he insulted Mother once) "The students, however, were shockingly backward. Bailey and i did arithmetic at a mature level becasue of our work in the store and we read well because in Stamps there wasn't anything else to do." St. Louis Teacher Comparison Learning Comparison Setting's Impact Realism/imagery Psychological/emotional effects Characterization Maya's desire to feel accepted/loved Themes - Maya's desire for comfort explains why she allowed Mr. Freeman to advance - Self esteem issues from earlier in the novel are amplified throughout these chapters - New setting contributes to her loneliness Money doesn't buy happiness St. Louis is economically superior to Stamps St. Louis has a formal education system Despite these factors, Maya is more miserable in St. Louis than in Stamps