I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
by Maya Angelou
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Questions
Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
- What's up with the end of the novel? Do you think it's kind of sudden? What were you expecting?
- Could Maya's story still happen today? What would be the same? What would be different?
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is an autobiography, but it also has its fair share of fiction. How important are the facts when it comes to telling the truth?
- The novel is pretty funny, don't you think? Why do you think Angelou wrote it this way when it treats such sensitive and serious subjects?
- Bailey also comes of age in this story. What would the novel look like if it were his autobiography instead?
- What's up with the prologue? Why is it separate from the rest of the novel, and what is its significance?
- Maya ends the novel sixteen years old and pregnant. If she had her fifteen minutes of fame on the show 16 and Pregnant, what would her episode be like?
- Do you think readers today interpret this book differently than readers did in 1969? How so?
- What other books have you read that treat the issues of race and sexuality as frankly as Caged Bird? What's different about Angelou's take?
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