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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
by Maya Angelou

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Allusions & Cultural References

When authors refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Literary References

Shakespeare, "Sonnet 29" (2.22)
Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice (2.23)
Shakespeare, Hamlet (23.14, 28.12, 34.22)
Shakespeare, The Rape of Lucrece (23.44)
Rudyard Kipling (2.22), "Invictus" (22.31, 23.50)
Rudyard Kipling, "If" (22.31)
Edgar Allan Poe (2.22, 23.22), "Annabel Lee" (23.22)
Edgar Allan Poe, "The Fall of the House of Usher" (25.5)
Butler (2.22)
William Thackeray (2.22l)
William Henley (2.22)
Paul Lawrence Dunbar (2.22)
Langston Hughes (2.22)
James Weldon Johnson (2.22), "The Creation" (2.23)
W.E.B. Du Bois, "Litany at Atlanta" (2.22)
Robin Hood (11.1)
Horatio Alger (11.29)
Edward Stratemeyer, The Rover Boys (12.17)
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (15. 48)
Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist (15.54)
Beowulf (15.54)
Lewis Carroll, Alice-in-Wonderland (16.8)
Charles Perrault, Bluebeard (17.17)
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (20.14, 22.3, 22.13)
Anne and Emily Brontë (22.31)
Mark Twain (22.3), Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (22.4, 22.13)
Br'er Rabbit (22.42, 22.50)
Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers (25.3)
Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo (25.3)
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (27.11)
One Thousand and One Nights (30.29)
Omar Khayyám, The Rubáiyát (31.36)
Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels (32.5)
Sophocles, Oedipus Rex (33.6)
Radclyffe Hall, The Well of Loneliness (35.1)
Furies (36.3)
Thomas Wolfe, Look Homeward, Angel (36.12)
Molière (36.16)

Historical References

The Great Depression (8.6, 24.3)
World War II (8.11, 26.39, 33.12)
Charles Lindbergh's baby kidnapping (9.14)
Toussaint L'Ouverture (10.7)
Jack the Ripper (17.17)
John Brown (18.72)
Booker T. Washington (23.32)
Galileo Galilei (23.40)
Marie Curie (23.40)
Thomas Edison (23.40)
George Washington Carver (23.41)
Gabriel Prosser (23.46)
Nat Turner (23.46)
Abraham Lincoln (23.46)
The Emancipation Proclamation (23.46)
Harriet Tubman (23.46)
Christopher Columbus (23.46)
Patrick Henry (23.61)
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (26.40)
The House Committee on Un-American Activities (28.12)
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) (29.15)
Lucius Licinius Lucullus (29.22)
Pancho Villa (30.15)
Emiliano Zapata (30.22)
Florence Nightingale (31.13)
V-Day (36.15)

Pop Culture References

The Time Step (10.17)
V. T. Hamlin, Alley Oop (11.1)
The Lone Ranger (11.3)
Crime Busters (11.3)
The Shadow (11.3)
Stanley Link, Tiny Tim (11.30)
Rudolph Dirks, The Katzenjammer Kids (11.30)
Kay Francis (17.43)
Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey, "Precious Lord, Take My Hand" (18.40)
Frank Williams, "It's Good to Know Jesus" (18. 75)
Before This Time Another Year (18.81)
Joe Louis "The Brown Bomber" vs. Primo Carnera (19.13, 23.40)
Captain Marvel (21.1)
James Weldon Johnson, "Lift Every Voice and Sing" (23.29, 23.54)
Jesse Owens (23.40)
Sabine Baring-Gould, "Onward Christian Soldiers" (23.50)
Anna Bartlett Warner, "Jesus Loves Me This I Know" (23.60)
Claude Rains (25.3)
Herbert Marshall (25.3)
George McCready (25.3)
Leon René, "When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano" (26.12)
Snake Hips (26.26)
Suzy Q (26.26)
Basil Rathbone (28.13)
Bette Davis (28.13)
Jane Withers (30.1)
Donald O'Connor (30.1)
Tyrone Power (30.16)
Dolores Del Rio (30.16)
Akim Tamiroff (30.16)
Katina Paxinou (30.16)
The Cisco Kid (30.23)
Lester Young (31.36)
Count Basie (33.4)
Cab Calloway (33.4)
Duke Ellington (33.4)
Lonnie Johnson, "Tomorrow Night" (33.13)
Nat King Cole, "Straighten up and Fly Right" (33.39),
Robert W. Service (34.29)
Forty-Niners (34.29)
Diamond Lil (34.29)
Jack London (34.29)
Nat King Cole, "If You Can't Smile and Say Yes" (35.52)
Robert F. Roden, "When It's Moonlight On the Prairie" (35.73)
Richard Arlen (35.73)
Veronica Lake (35.73)

Biblical References

Luke 18:16 (6.6)
1 Corinthians 13:11(6.7)
Galatians 6:7 (6.8)
Deuteronomy (6.18)
Matthew 4:10 (13.28)
Proverbs 16:18 (15.29)
Matthew 6:9–13 (17.39)
Proverbs 22:6 (18.10)
Psalm 98:4 (18.21)
Matthew 5:12 (18.21)
Matthew 25:30-46 (18.47, 22.40)
1 Corinthians 13:1 (18.49)
1 Corinthians 13:13 (18.71)
Matthew 19:24 (18. 71)
Mark 4:9 (18.89)
Matthew 5:18 (18.91)
Job 1:21 (21.41)
Matthew 25:14-30 (22.38)
Matthew 3:17 (22.38)
Matthew 8:23-27 (22.98)
Deuteronomy 1:8 (25.7)
Daniel 6 (25.7)
Daniel 3 (25.7)
Genesis 3:6 (36.23)

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