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Questions

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
  1. What's up with the end of the novel? Do you think it's kind of sudden? What were you expecting?
  2. Could Maya's story still happen today? What would be the same? What would be different?
  3. 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?
  4. 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?
  5. Bailey also comes of age in this story. What would the novel look like if it were his autobiography instead?
  6. What's up with the prologue? Why is it separate from the rest of the novel, and what is its significance?
  7. 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?
  8. Do you think readers today interpret this book differently than readers did in 1969? How so?
  9. 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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