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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 31 Summary

  • Maya and Daddy Bailey get home late, smelling like alcohol. Oh, and they don't have any groceries. This is a problem.
  • Unsurprisingly, it leads to an argument between Dolores and Daddy Bailey. After the argument, Maya feels guilty and tells Dolores that she is sorry. Somehow, this ends with Dolores calling Vivian a whore and Maya slapping her in the face.
  • You should stop and read this section—and the next couple of chapters—because things become pretty unreal in Maya's life from now on. Go on, we'll wait.
  • Anyway, Dolores goes crazy and attacks Maya.
  • In all of the frenzy, Maya is injured. She runs outside and locks herself in her father's car while Dolores runs around with a hammer in her hand trying to attack her.
  • Since she is bleeding, Maya is pretty sure she's going to die. 
  • She doesn't die. (Which we figured, since she's writing the book, after all.)
  • Her father takes her to a friend to get her cut treated. It's pretty small and Maya is disappointed that she won't have a sweet battle scar.
  • The next morning, Maya wakes up in her father's friends' house and cannot remember their names. She is so embarrassed, and she can't go back to Vivian because she doesn't want to cause trouble between her and Daddy Bailey—she already feels she's caused enough trouble in her life.
  • She decides that the best answer is to run away and be homeless.
  • This is not a chapter for good ideas.

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