© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
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 35 Summary

  • Maya is reading again. We like this girl more and more every chapter.
  • This time, she reads The Well of Loneliness, which is about lesbians (who she thinks are also hermaphrodites) who have horrible lives full of persecution. She feels sorry for these people.
  • At the same time, Maya realizes that at sixteen, she still doesn't have a very womanly body. Oh, and something strange is growing on her body. What is it…?
  • She wonders how someone becomes a lesbian, and then worries that she is turning into one.
  • She asks Vivian about the growth on her vagina, which turns out to be her vulva. (Gentleman, that's normal.) Vivian laughs and tells Maya that she's not turning into a lesbian.
  • Apparently, this doesn't convince her.
  • A few weeks later, Maya is having a sleepover with a friend, and she sees her breasts. She thinks that they are beautiful. She also thinks this means she's a lesbian.
  • She decides that the answer to this problem is getting a boyfriend. Because then, you know, she can't be a lesbian. Duh.
  • So she makes a plan and has sex with one of the most popular boys around. Even that doesn't work. It isn't romantic and she doesn't enjoy it—she still thinks she might be a lesbian.
  • Then, in one little sentence at the end of the chapter, she lets us know that she is pregnant. 
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement