From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

  

by Maya Angelou

Analysis: What's Up With the Ending?

Maybe being sixteen, single, and pregnant isn't everyone's idea of a happy ending, but Maya seems pretty content at the end of the novel, don't you think?

Let's take a look at how things have wrapped up for our girl. Did she

  • gain self-confidence? Check. 
  • fight racism? Check. 
  • connect with her parents? Check.
  • escape poverty? Check.

The last things that Maya is missing are love and adulthood, which (drumroll please) she gains with the birth of her son. Ta-da!

But even with all these loose ends tied up, the story feels a bit unfinished. Why? Because we know Maya is going to grow up to be a famous author and poet, but the novel ends decades before that ever happens.

Never fear! This is only the first (and some say best) of Angelou's six-part autobiography. If you want to follow Maya and her son to the point where she began writing Caged Bird, read on.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement