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IOC Practice Questions – I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings

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1. The significance of the Store the book pertains to it being Maya’s home and the place where she would observe throughout her life. She often in her childhood stops and watches the cotton pickers here, thinking about what it’s like to be black in America at this time and wishing for it to be different. This connects to the theme of race and appearance in the book because Maya sees the difficulty of being black mostly while being at the store and witnessing the differential treatment whites receive, often thinking she would like to be white with blond hair so she can be fortunate and receive more possibilities. 3. Language is a very powerful tool that Maya Angelou uses to express what she is feeling and the events around her. Maya Angelou makes use of figurative language to express her themes vividly. For example, the caged bird being tied is a metaphor for the black society being oppressed by the white race, not allowing them to prosper in anyway because they are intimidated by the powers of the black race.

5. Angelou’s relationship with her mother is very strained and distant throughout her childhood. When she first meets her mother she doesn’t think that she is good enough to be considered her daughter because her mother is very beautiful and has a light complexion (making her more beautiful because Maya has always wanted to be white, thinking that would make her beautiful). This opinion of herself and her mother affects her relationship with her mother as well as the fact that her mother and father abandoned Maya and Bailey at a young age. But at this point, Maya can see her mother as a real person instead of a mythical figure that is impossible to associate with. This is very important for her development, as her prior relationship with her mother has often hindered her growth.

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