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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 26 Summary

  • Maya is thinking about all the sweet stuff she can do in California when she remembers that she will be seeing her mother. That changes things. Remember, last time she was with her mother, she was raped and Mr. Freeman was killed.
  • But when Maya arrives, Vivian is even more beautiful than she remembered. Apparently that's all it takes.
  • A month later, Bailey Jr. joins the family in Los Angeles, where they live for six months while their living arrangements are determined.
  • Once they have a place to live, Momma returns to Arkansas, and Bailey Jr. and Maya move in with Vivian in a small house in Oakland.
  • In the middle of the night, Vivian wakes up Maya and Bailey Jr. and ushers them quietly into the kitchen. Everyone is thoroughly confused until Vivian tells them it's a surprise party. Woo!
  • Desserts and dancing can only make things better, and sure enough, the two kids become more comfortable with their mother after the festivities.
  • Vivian supports her family honestly—through card games and gambling, of course. She takes pride in being fair, but she has no mercy.
  • Time for a story. One time, one of Maya's partners (business and romantic) cursed at her and called her a "bitch." She responded by shooting him several times with a gun. Slight overreaction, don't you think? But apparently they're still friends.
  • Suddenly, World War II begins.
  • Maya runs all the way home because she's worried about being bombed on the way. Her grandmother laughs at her when she gets home. We kind of do, too.
  • Shortly after the war begins, Maya gains a stepfather in Daddy Clidell. He is her first real father.

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