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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 Chapter 22 Summary

  • There is a storm in Stamps, and a creepy atmosphere straight out of The Ring covers the town.
  • Maya hears a knock at the door, but when it opens, no one is there. Dun dun dun. Then we see Mr. George Taylor, a widower who has been not-quite-alright since his wife died.
  • Momma invites Mr. Taylor to dinner, but he barely eats anything. Instead, he tells the family that his dead wife, Florida, told him last night that she wanted to have children. Which obviously means it is story time—and Maya is not too excited. "Oh, Lord, a ghost story," she says (22.30).
  • Before Mr. Taylor tells his ghost story, Maya gives us some background.
  • Mrs. Taylor was super old, so Maya figured she was going to die soon anyway. When she died, Momma made Maya go to the funeral.
  • Back to Mr. Taylor and those children his ghost-wife wants. 
  • Mr. Taylor said he was visited in bed by a laughing, fat, cupid-like baby angel. Then he heard the voice of his wife saying that she wanted children. The end.
  • By now, the children are scared to death and the adults are worried for Mr. Taylor's sanity.
  • Momma calmly talks to Mr. Taylor. She convinces him that, of course, what his wife meant by "I want children" is "I want you to work with children from the church."
  • Right.
  • He calms down and spends the night at the Store.

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