Analysis On Maya Angelou's 'caged Bird'

764 words - 3 pages

How has the poet conveyed the idea of inequality in her poem ‘Caged Bird’? How has she made this contrast vivid for the reader?The poet, during the whole poem contrasts two very different realities; the caged bird’s and the free bird’s. By alternating the stanzas in the poem, she makes it easier for the reader to compare both birds. The birds throughout the poem are actually an extended metaphor to the conditions of men, some free, some ‘caged’.When describing the free bird, she uses words like ‘leaps’ and ‘floats’.By using the phrase “leaps on the back of the wind” she makes an allusion to the children’s game ‘leap frog’, by making allusion to this game, the author compares the free bird with a child, with no duties and nothing to be stuck to.The word ‘floats’, when used in describing the way the free bird flies shows that the bird is just there, flying with no duties and preoccupations. He is just flying.In contrast to leaping and floating, the caged bird is said to ‘stalk’. This word gives a very different impression to the actions of the caged bird, in comparison to the free bird’s. As he “stalks down his narrow cage” he cannot do the same as the free bird. He is stuck to the ground and has no freedom at all.The free bird is said to float “in the orange sun’s rays”. This sentence brings up an image to the readers head of a cozy, warm day, with the sun shining peacefully upon some hills and also the bird flying, floating amongst the clouds.When talking about the bird, the poet uses an impactful phrase, she says the caged bird can “seldom see through his bars of rage” and this means the bird rarely sees more than the bars of his cage. This brings to the reader an image of a lonely bird, singing in the dark corner of a dark room.By using the expression ‘bars of rage’ the poet can mean two things.First, the bars could contain or be made of rage, which doesn’t let the bird be free.Another way the ‘Bars of rage’ can be interpreted is, possibly, as the birds rage; the bars are maybe imaginary and what imprisons him is...

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