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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.

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